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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

June 24, 2011 at 7:59 AM

Microsoft history repeats itself: Google faces antitrust probe

The Federal Trade Commission is poised to launch an antitrust investigation into Google. The company’s dominance in search has led it down the same path that Microsoft trod many years ago.

The Wall Street Journal reported the FTC’s plans, citing anonymous sources. We ran story from the San Jose Mercury News Friday.

Microsoft’s 20-year antitrust battle ended in May when the consent decree that came out of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice expired. Observers believe the antitrust issues pushed Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates to step down as chief executive, and the loss of Gates, they say, de-fanged the company.

In the San Jose Mercury News story by Mike Swift quotes a lawyer who compares the two companies.

“How close is this to the Microsoft case? Man, I’ve got to say, it’s getting closer every single day,” said Gary Reback, a Palo Alto, Calif., antitrust lawyer who headed efforts that ultimately led to the federal antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in the 1990s.

Microsoft opposed Google’s acquisition of travel software maker ITA when the proposed merger faced antitrust review. US regulators approved the merger in April.

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