Microsoft and Google are formally withdrawing all regulatory complaints against each other, the company confirmed to Business Insider, after Re/Code’s Ina Fried first reported on the mutual change of heart.
“Microsoft has agreed to withdraw its regulatory complaints against Google, reflecting our changing legal priorities,” the company said in an official statement. “We will continue to focus on competing vigorously for business and for customers.”
The timing of this announcement is interesting, as Europe is preparing to hit Google with anti-trust charges over Android.
Microsoft’s former CEO, Steve Ballmer, had been pressuring regulators to clamp down on Google for years.
In 2013, Ballmer said, “I believe that Google’s practices are worthy of discussion with competition authority. And we have certainly discuss them with competition authorities.”
Instead, just as the ax looks likely to fall, Microsoft is dropping the pressure and withdrawing its membership from FairSearch and ICOMP, two groups pushing for antitrust actions over Google’s search business, Fried reports.
A source close to the company tells Business Insider that this retreat from regulatory fights is a “natural” extension of an action taken in September, where the two companies agreed to drop all patent litigation.
And while this person stopped short of crediting CEO Satya Nadella directly for the cease fire with Google, the person did say the regulatory detente was a result of Nadella’s leadership.
Nadella has been moving Microsoft away from its historic hard-driving combative culture and into being kinder and more collaborative. Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai are said to have a warmer relationship than previous CEOs of those two companies did.
Nadella has demonstrated this with a partnership with one-time bitter rival Salesforce along with a lot of proclamations of love for the Linux operating system and its embrace of Android and iOS apps.
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