Apparently Google is under attack from many directions for anti-trust violations, the main complaint seeming to be that Google tilts its search results to favor its own divisions (e.g. Google Places at the top of travel searches). The Reason article as well as the Politico piece illustrate just how much competitors with political pull, rather than consumers, are the true beneficiaries of anti-trust policy.
I really have nothing but disdain for this use of government power, but I can't help but laugh at the plight of Google, whose CEO had a large role in suing Microsoft for browser anti-trust years ago for the horrible crime of giving away a free browser with their OS. In fact, ironically, the core of this suit was about Microsoft going too far in integrating the OS with browser. In many ways, Microsoft was probably prescient (for once, they tend to be a follower) in looking towards an OS built around browser. In fact, by preventing Microsoft from such integration, the suit cleared the way for an integrated browser based OS to be introduced by.... Google with Chrome OS. And there sure is a lot of browser / OS integration in my Google android-based phone. I also don't remember my Android phone offering me a range of browser and search choices, requirements their CEO had the government impose on Microsoft.
More recently, Google has led the charge in Washington to regulate broadband suppliers in the name of "net neutrality." This classic bit of tilting the playing field in the name of creating a level playing field was theoretically aimed at stopping broadband companies from tilting their bandwidth for or against different web sites. Thus critics of Google who are concerned with the tilting of their search results for or against companies are demanding "search neutrality." This is a horrible bit of government interventionism, but the irony is delicious.
Google's efforts in net neutrality really are a head scratcher for me. What did they really get from that, and was it really worth opening the Pandora's box of government Internet regulation? And didn't anyone there not see the obvious application of the same logic to themselves? If you establish the principle that Cox Cable has to be a common carrier, it seems like a small step to say that Google Search must be as well. And maybe Amazon.com next must be a common carrier of retail goods. This is bad, bad stuff and Google and its CEO has brought it all on themselves.