State questions Microsoft search plans

Massachusetts investigates whether the company is unlawfully wielding its desktop dominance in its plans to enter the search engine market.

Declan McCullagh
Declan McCullagh Former Senior Writer
Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. You can e-mail him or follow him on Twitter as declanm. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.
Massachusetts said Wednesday that it is whether Microsoft is unlawfully wielding its desktop dominance in its plans to enter the red-hot search engine market. The state, the only one still pursuing antitrust claims against Microsoft, said in a legal filing that it is still reviewing "issues regarding Internet search engines, document format programs, and other functionalities that Microsoft allegedly plans to incorporate into the next version of its Windows operating system." Microsoft
has said that it plans to release a new search engine in the next year and embed better search features in its next-generation Longhorn operating system.

A federal appeals court is weighing Massachusetts' appeal to a final ruling by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly that approved a settlement deal and effectively ended the long-running antitrust case. In its legal filing, Massachusetts took a swipe at the settlement, saying its "competitive impact" in some areas appears to be "essentially nonexistent."