Is Microsoft Waging a Proxy War on Google for Antitrust?
Well, if the shoe isn’t on the other foot. Once upon a time, Microsoft seemed to be the biggest threat to free trade in the computer world, facing suits across the world. And now it’s Google’s turn—and coincidentally, Microsoft certainly looks like the man behind the curtain. In fact, two thirds of voters at the Wall Street Journal think it’s Microsoft’s machinations throwing the gauntlet down at Google:
How is Microsoft doing this? Certainly not directly (pot, kettle). No—it would have to be through backroom puppetry, which Microsoft of course denies. The evidence does appear highly coincidental. The WSJ outlines one instance where Google filed a two-sentence suit against a small site owing them $335,000 for AdSense—and got a 24-page antitrust countersuit, with Microsoft’s chief outside antitrust council listed as one of the litigants.
Note, though, that this is Microsoft’s outside council: he doesn’t work for Microsoft and Microsoft alone. It’s entirely possible that the small website searched out someone who was familiar with antitrust law and actions against Google.
Naturally, many companies and individuals are concerned about Google’s dominance. Accusations and suits seem to be coming from all quarters, including the US government. Microsoft has used a few more open tactics to wage an antitrust war. These latest volleys might not be orchestrated by Microsoft—or are they? What do you think?