Google this week said that it would continue petitioning the US District Court for the District of Columbia (DC) to allow the company to comment on Microsoft's antitrust settlement compliance as an interested party. This announcement came less than a week after Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said she was not interested in Google's opinion. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US state allied against Microsoft represent consumers in this case, she said, not Google.
Google has filed a petition with the court asking it to review its complaints about Microsoft's measures to make the Instant Search feature in Windows Vista less anti-competitive. According to the company, Instant Search should be treated like other middleware applications in Windows and be made replaceable by PC makers and end users. Microsoft two weeks ago made concessions to Google and agreed to change Instant Search somewhat, but Google says the changes don't go far enough.
According to Microsoft's antitrust settlement, competitive complaints must be made to the DOJ and states, and not directly to the court. But after both of these entities found Microsoft's Instant Search compromises to be satisfactory, Google directly petitioned the court for an intervention. Microsoft described these maneuvers as an "end run" around the legal processes put in place to monitor Microsoft's behavior, and Kollar-Kotelly agreed.
Now, Google is trying again. The company says it has a unique perspective on the changes Microsoft is proposing because it, too, makes desktop search technology. Google is also asking for more technical information about the changes Microsoft has promised to make. Now, any decision about Google involvement is back in the hands of Kollar-Kotelly.