Microsoft and Google openly quarrel amid hacks and competitor inquiries


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Google and Microsoft are in the crosshairs.

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 firm are fighting. to throw each other.

Tensions between Microsoft Corp and Alphabet-owned Google have been simmering for a while, but the rivalry has become unusually public in recent days as executives at both firms have become defensive in the face of competitive crises.

Google faces bipartisan complaints, and journalistic ire, for its role in destroying the advertising revenue of the media industry, the subject of an antitrust hearing in Congress on Friday.

Microsoft, meanwhile, faces scrutiny for its role in back-to-back cybersecurity breaches.

In the first, the same supposedly Russian hackers who compromised Texas 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, allegedly saw Chinese hackers abuse previously unknown vulnerabilities to suck emails from Microsoft customers around the world.

Microsoft Chairman Brad Smith addressed lawmakers Friday in an antitrust news subcommittee of the House of Representatives Judiciary, telling representatives that media organizations are being forced to “use the tools of Google, operate on the Google ad exchanges, operations, and pay money to Google, ”according to excerpts of his testimony published by Axios.

Google responded by saying that Microsoft’s “new interest in attacking us comes in the immediate aftermath of the SolarWinds attack and at a time when they have allowed tens of thousands of their customers, including government agencies in the US, NATO allies, banks, nonprofits, telecommunications providers, utilities, police, fire and rescue units, hospitals and, presumably, news organizations, to be actively hacked through major Microsoft vulnerabilities. “

Reporting by Raphael Satter, Editing by Nick Zieminski

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