Google has demanded that Microsoft remove the YouTube app that Microsoft developed for Windows Phone 8, saying the app violates YouTube’s terms of service by, among other things, not displaying ads.
That’s according to a report in The Verge, which says it obtained a copy of Google’s cease-and-desist letter to Microsoft.
According to the letter, Google says the app allows users to download videos from YouTube, prevents the display of ads in YouTube video playbacks and plays videos that have been restricted from playback on certain platforms.
“These features directly harm our content creators and clearly violate our Terms of Service,” Google said in the letter. “Content creators make money on YouTube by monetizing their content through advertising. Unfortunately, by blocking advertising and allowing downloads of videos, your application cuts off a valuable ongoing revenue source for creators, and causes harm to the thriving content ecosystem on YouTube.”
Google has requested that Microsoft remove the app from the Windows Phone Store and disable existing downloads of the app by May 22.
We’ve asked Microsoft and Google for comment and will post any responses here.
[Update 3:54 p.m.: Microsoft sent the following statement:
YouTube is consistently one of the top apps downloaded by smartphone users on all platforms, but Google has refused to work with us to develop an app on par with other platforms. Since we updated the YouTube app to ensure our mutual customers a similar YouTube experience, ratings and feedback have been overwhelmingly positive. We’d be more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs. In light of Larry Page’s comments today calling for more interoperability and less negativity, we look forward to solving this matter together for our mutual customers.]
This is the latest in a series of ongoing disputes between the two companies. The two tech titans have been battling over everything from patents to privacy issues to interoperability.
Earlier today, Google CEO Larry Page, speaking at its Google I/O developer conference, said: “We struggle with companies like Microsoft.” He was talking about how, earlier this week, Microsoft had announced it was rolling out Google chat capabilities to Outlook.com, but that it did not give Google Chat users access to Outlook.com, according to a CNET report.