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Microsoft lashes out at Google over Windows Phone YouTube app

Microsoft is once again lashing out at Google, taking the search giant to task (again) for not allowing a "full featured" YouTube app for Windows Phone.

This, Microsoft said in a blog post this week, is just one reason why the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust probe into Google is warranted.

"You might think that Google would be on its best behavior given it's under the bright lights of regulatory scrutiny on two continents, particularly as it seeks to assure antitrust enforcers in the U.S. and Europe that it can be trusted on the basis of non-binding assurances that it will not abuse its market position further," wrote Dave Heiner, Microsoft's vice president and deputy general counsel.

Heiner said the YouTube issue is "just one example" of Google "impeding competition in the marketplace."

"We continue to be dogged by an issue we had hoped would be resolved by now: Google continues to prevent Microsoft from offering consumers a fully featured YouTube app for the Windows Phone," he wrote.

"This is an important issue because consumers value YouTube access on their phone: YouTube apps on the Android and Apple platforms were two of the most downloaded mobile applications in 2012, according to recent news reports," he continued. "Yet Google still refuses to allow Windows Phone users to have the same access to YouTube that Android and Apple customers enjoy."

Heiner said Microsoft has been engaging with Google for two years on the issue. "But just last month we learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones," he said.

Heiner said Microsoft has voiced its displeasure to the FTC and the European Commission, both of which are conducting antitrust investigations into Google.

The post comes several weeks after Google announced that it would remove support for Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol (Google Sync) as of 30 January. Those currently using Google Sync to connect their mobile devices to their Gmail will remain unaffected, but new users will not be given the option to use Google Sync.

In a statement, a Google spokeswoman said that "contrary to Microsoft's claims, it's easy for consumers to view YouTube videos on Windows phones."

"Windows phone users can access all the features of YouTube through our HTML5-based mobile website, including viewing high-quality video streams, finding favorite videos, seeing video ratings, and searching for video categories," she said. "In fact, we've worked with Microsoft for several years to help build a great YouTube experience on Windows phones."

Microsoft and Google had a rather contentious 2012, with Microsoft launching a number of campaigns intended to highlight what it considered to be lacklustre Google services.