According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Trade Commission is preparing to serve subpoenas as the first step in a formal investigation designed to reveal the extent to which Google’s use of its market power in the search business constitutes anticompetitive behavior. The probe joins the European Commission’s investigation launched in November that is looking into how the search giant may have violated European competition laws. Many pundits speculate that the results of the investigation may constitute a “Microsoft moment” for the Mountain View company the same way the Department of Justice actions against Microsoft in the 90’s forced changes in the ways the company was able to leverage its competitive advantages. Unfortunately for Microsoft, “bullying competitors with monopoly power” was a far more core competency than “creating things people want to use in a free market”, so the company has been stagnating ever since.
I have to wonder how spectacularly Eric Schmidt’s political career is going to flame out once he’s deposed. Man, that’s going to be great.