Michael A. Cusumano

Microsoft takes Google to E.U. anti-trust court

March 31, 2011: 9:01 AM ET

The shoe, as the say, is now officially on the other foot.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

In a move which has shown how much the competitive landscape has moved in the past decade, Microsoft (MSFT) filed a formal complaint with the E.U. Commission over what it sees as anti-competitive tactics used by Google (GOOG).

Microsoft is still reeling from its own anti-trust settlement in the E.U. just two years ago.  The decade long fight ended with Microsoft creating a browser ballot box in its Windows operating system and having to pay out almost $2.5B in fines.

"The company that was the 800-pound gorilla is now resorting to antitrust, where it is always the case that the also-rans sue the winners," said Michael A. Cusumano, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management who has studied Microsoft to the NYTimes.

Until now, Microsoft has been fighting Google by proxy in the E.U. and in the U.S. by enlisting subsidiaries and partners to file anti-trust actions against its rival.

The complaint is that Google uses its market-leading position in search to block competitors (such as Microsoft) from entering search and other related fields.  Microsoft breaks these down with six examples:

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