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Google really, really wants to be part of antitrust case

The search giant submits another brief in support of its effort to have a say in Microsoft's ongoing antitrust issue.

Google this week filed a brief to the federal judge overseeing Microsoft's long-running antitrust case, again trying to make its case that it should be allowed to participate in the matter as a "friend of the court."

The filing, which was not unexpected, comes after Microsoft filed its opposition to Google's entry in the case. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly did not rule directly on the matter at a hearing last month, but she did indicate that there are other ways for Google's concerns to be addressed, namely through contacting the state and federal regulators that are part of the case.

On the eve of that hearing, Google filed an amicus brief stating its issues over Microsoft's approach to desktop search. Microsoft then filed a motion opposing Google being able to file such briefs. Monday's brief from Google is a reply to Microsoft's opposition. In the four-page filing, Google argues that it has an "important and useful" perspective.

"As the developer of a major desktop search product and the company that brought desktop search to the attention of the plaintiffs, Google has familiarity with the issues raised and is well positioned to provide information to the court," Google said in the filing.

In its response last week, Microsoft called Google's efforts to take part in the case an "end run" around existing rules and also disputed the notion that desktop search in Windows Vista counts as middleware, as set forth in the consent decree.