Steve Lohr:

The government’s escalating pursuit of Google is the most far-reaching antitrust investigation of a corporation since the landmark federal case against Microsoft in the late 1990s. The agency’s central focus is whether Google manipulates search results to favor its own products, and makes it harder for competitors and their products to appear prominently on a results page.

That’s never the comparison you want to have. What’s interesting is that I didn’t think there was any question whether Google chose/chooses to promote its own products first. My question: is that wrong? It’s not fair, but it’s also Google’s service. Should I be required to link to another blogs post when I would normally link to one of my own? It’s not the same, but the principle seems the same.

The more interesting investigation is whether Google actively tried to prevent other search engines from gaining traction, outside of services under Google control. Did they actively seek to shut down others from getting a default spot on, say, Safari? That’s far more damning, I hope that’s what is being investigated not something about ordering search results.

Posted by Ben Brooks