By Raphael Satter
WASHINGTON: Google and Microsoft are at loggerheads.
Driven in part by pressure from lawmakers and regulators over the extraordinary power the two tech companies wield over American life, the California-based search engine giant and the Washington-based software company are battling to throw themselves under the spotlight. bus.
Tensions between Microsoft Corp and Alphabet-owned Google have been simmering for some time, but the rivalry has become unusually public in recent days as executives at both companies have been put on the defensive in the face of competing crises.
Google faces bipartisan complaints – and anger from journalists – over its role in squeezing advertising revenue from the media industry, the subject of a congressional antitrust hearing on Friday.
Microsoft, meanwhile, is coming under scrutiny for its role in the ensuing cybersecurity breaches.
In the first, the same allegedly Russian hackers who compromised Texas-based software company SolarWinds Corp also took advantage of Microsoft’s cloud software to break into some of the company’s customers. The second, revealed on March 2, saw allegedly Chinese hackers abuse previously unknown vulnerabilities to suck emails from Microsoft customers around the world.
Speaking to lawmakers on Friday at a House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee on news, Microsoft Chairman Brad Smith was due to shoot Google, telling officials that media organizations are obliged “to use Google’s tools, to operate on Google’s advertising exchanges, to provide data to Google operations, and pay money to Google,” according to extracts from his testimony published by Axios.
Google fired back, saying that “Microsoft’s new interest in attacking us follows the SolarWinds attack and a time when they cleared tens of thousands of their customers – including government agencies in the United States, NATO allies, banks, non-profit organizations, telecommunications providers, utilities, police, fire and rescue units, hospitals and, presumably, news agencies – d ‘be actively hacked through major vulnerabilities in Microsoft. ”