The U.S. Justice Department has agreed to share documents with California attorney general Jerry Brown's office regarding a possible antitrust suit against Google. Both federal and state lawyers are targeting Google over its deal to sell some of Yahoo's search ads. California's investigation comes at the behest of state assemblyman Joel Anderson, who wrote in a letter to Brown's office: "We're talking about giving (Google and Yahoo) over 90 percent market share — nobody else on the Web has a database like that. Who can compete?" If Anderson's concern sounds familiar, its because in recent days big advertisers, small advertisers and federal lawyers have expressed similar concerns with similar wording. That's because it's all coming from the same source: Microsoft and its CEO Steve Ballmer, who's still bitter about Google blocking its Yahoo acquisition. Says one trade reporter also subject to the Seattle company's lobbying efforts:
Agencies and advertisers are bit players in this. Microsoft has been lobbying reporters to write about this stuff. They have a huge lobbying apparatus in place from the antitrust battles of the '90s. Some very high up people at [media] holding companies don't even think it's worth their time to get involved because it's a lobbying battle. And for agencies, they know they're being used, but they think Google need to get its snout hit.
(Photo by AP/Sarbach)