The tech behemoths could be squaring up in courtrooms in the near future.
A long-running pact between two of the world’s largest tech companies has ended, leaving outsiders wondering what will happen next. Microsoft and Google formed their 2015 agreement to stop a constant barrage of litigation between the two companies, and for the most part, it has worked well.
But the pact expired in April 2021, and instead of shaking hands once more, both companies have ditched the agreement.
Microsoft and Google End Six-Year Truce
In the slightly unusual move, the pact between the two companies agreed that both would seek to resolve disagreements at the highest level possible, rather than heading to regulators or other official methods of complaint.
Furthermore, according to the Financial Times, the terms of the agreement also saw Microsoft and Google cooperating in areas of mutual business interest, such as security and quantum computing.
For the most part, the truce was seen as a way for the companies to continue competing without turning every instance of direct competition into a protracted and expensive legal battle. But, according to those in the know, both Google and Microsoft have used so-called “dirty tricks” to hurt each other commercially.
Signs that the truce is already forgotten have already appeared, with Microsoft and Google coming to blows over Australia’s controversial media law, leading Google to proclaim that Microsoft was returning to its old tricks.
Why Are Microsoft and Google Ending Their Truce?
Despite spending more than half a decade working to keep their business out of the noses of regulators, investigators are turning the heat up anyway.
Against a global backdrop of regulators investigating anti-competition and monopolistic practices of the major tech companies, finding that two of the worlds largest are collaborating to prevent regulator intrusion is somewhat beyond the pale.
Notably, Microsoft hasn’t felt the gaze of the regulator spotlight nearly as much as its Big Tech competitors in Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. Microsoft famously fought and lost antitrust lawsuits in the early 2000s, which means the company has worked harder to keep out of the spotlight and away from regulators.
As you can read in the above-linked article, the US is rolling out a series of new antitrust laws specifically targeting the stranglehold Big Tech has on global tech. How successful those laws are remains to be seen.
What is clear, however, is that governments worldwide are tired of the anticompetitive practices enforced by these companies and that now is the time for change.
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