Despite Resistance From DOJ, Google Pressing New Antitrust Case Against Microsoft

from the relentless dept

By no means has Microsoft prevented Google from thriving, but that hasn’t stopped Google from occasionally waving the antitrust stick in Microsoft’s direction. Last year, the company complained that the searchbar in IE7 was anti-competitive because it defaulted to Microsoft’s Live search, a pretty flimsy claim in its own right, but patently absurd in light of the fact that Google pays companies like Dell to establish itself as a default search engine. This weekend, the New York Times reported that Google has quietly filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft pertaining to Vista and desktop search. Specifically, Google claims that Microsoft engineered Vista in such a way so as to render third-party desktop search offerings more difficult to use. This type of thing, Google claims, specifically violates Microsoft’s settlement with the DOJ, which compels the company to make its operating systems hospitable to third-party applications. Where the story gets more interesting is that the top antitrust lawyer at the DOJ took the unusual step of sending a letter to various state prosecutors encouraging them not to take up Google’s cause. Not only were they nonplussed by the letter, but there’s a sense that the official may have some sort of conflict of interest, since he used to work at the law firm that defended Microsoft during its antitrust case. This, however, is not a black and white question, since he didn’t actually work on the Microsoft case while at the firm. Furthermore, given the current administration’s generally laissez-faire attitude towards antitrust issues, it’s not surprising that the DOJ would be populated by lawyers sympathetic to Microsoft. Either way, it looks like more headaches for Microsoft, as the letter seems to have backfired, and a number of states seem set to take up Google’s complaint.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Despite Resistance From DOJ, Google Pressing New Antitrust Case Against Microsoft”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
reed says:

It might have been different...

It might have been different is Microsoft actually had something real happen to them in the last case. Instead it was business as usual.

It would be like if OJ went out and killed another one of ex-lovers ’cause he got away with it the first time. This has been Microsoft’s actions in many ways. They are still playing monopolist like they always have. Linux patent FUD? Vista cutting out security vendors?

There are literally hundreds of other examples of how MS has continued to play hardball even when they already totally dominate the desktop. What are we left with? A bloated crap-ass product we are all forced to upgrade too. Doesn’t seem like everything is so great in MS land anymore.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: It might have been different...

“Linux patent FUD?” and over the past years, what has actually happened with this… nothing but FUD.

“Vista cutting out security vendors?” and if you change the kernel to make the OS much more secure, then you are making the OS much more secure instead of sitting on your but and whining about how your current software version is no longer needed. Heck, wagon wheels are not as popular today because the vehicle has changed.

Reed says:

Re: Re: It might have been different...

“”Vista cutting out security vendors?” and if you change the kernel to make the OS much more secure, then you are making the OS much more secure instead of sitting on your but and whining about how your current software version is no longer needed. Heck, wagon wheels are not as popular today because the vehicle has changed.”

What? MS made an insecure system to begin with so 3rd party vendors came up with solutions to the problem. MS then changes the way you access the kernel and doesn’t share it with anyone they are not partnered with. They then extort extra money from all security vendors and at the same time bundle their own security software with the OS.

It is the same old story, rather than allowing Vista to be modular so that vendors can easily make plugins they do just the opposite. They lock it up and hold the keys for a fee and then throw in their own crappy in-house version of all popular software.

The problem is when you try to do it all you end up sucking at everything.

Anti-competitive? Yes
Monopolistic? Yes
After all it’s good old MS!

FUG Buster says:

Google Jumping The Shark

Almost Every Time a company starts to spend too much time in court against Microsoft than just working hard to please their own customers and maybe Microsoft’s to steal them they don’t do well.

The court before innovation thing really helped Netscape didn’t it?

For all the Microsoft haters… pay attention Google is getting big, wants to insert itself in everything. And seems to think any data should be its to give away including your personal info.

The enemy of Microsoft is not necessarily your friend..

BTW When I start IE 7 for the first time it asks if I want to change my default search provider. Sounds like Google needs more marketing and less attorneys.. What is Microsoft suppose send out invitations to use Google now too!!!

Time for Tort reform that punished companies for wasting the Justice Department’s Time

Buzz (profile) says:

The time has come...

Google just needs to give everyone what they have been wanting all along: a Google-based Linux distribution. Or heck, maybe it wouldn’t even be Linux-based. Maybe they would write their own system altogether! However they do it, the time has come for Google to simply offer a new easy-to-use free OS. People would flock to it by the millions.

DFAL (user link) says:

MSN Search Losing Market Share

Despite Microsoft’s anti-competitive advantages, MSN/Live has been losing market share.

I do not like Google at all, having had a few sites fall victim to Google’s sandbox. Google’s results have been dismal for 3 years now, particularly for newer websites. Microsoft’s attempt to steer users to MSN/Live has been an abject failure. It’s a non-issue, really.

As for Google’s desktop search, how many people use that? Nobody I know does. It may be another non-issue that nobody cares about.

Danny says:

Silly and shortsighted

The first complaint was absolute nonsense. It is very easy to switch the default search in IE7 and it has never switched back to Live. Also the fact that they ask if you’d like to change it and that anyone can pay a manufacturer to change it makes it a non-starter. That makes me think the 2nd suit is out there just to annoy as well.

This stuff is awfully shortsighted on google’s part since, given that their search dominance is still growing, there is a future in which someone is going to sue them claiming that putting a new app on the homepage or ranking their apps above a competitors in a search is similiar to services within MS own OS, defaulting to their stuff.

Norman619 (profile) says:

This is pure 1st class BS

How the hell is MS hurting Google? Symantec and the other crybaby vendors had a better agument and they too were full of BS. Google apps install just fine under Vista and run fine too. How is MS keeping them from competing? Google wants MS to make their applications more appealing to users. I fail to see how that is a MS job. If I were MS I’d push to let this case go forward then when Google is proven to be full of shit move to have Google pay for MS legal fees.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...