Google claims that Microsoft is encouraging third party anti-trust lawsuits

Microsoft certainly knows a thing or two about anti-trust suits, and if the kids at Google are to be believed the company is waging something of a proxy war on them by injecting itself in lawsuits and complaints brought up by third parties. As Google spokesman Adam Kovacevich told The Wall Street Journal, "our competitors are scouring court dockets around the world looking for complaints against Google into which they can inject themselves, learn more about our business practices, and use that information to develop a broader antitrust complaint against us." Of course, Microsoft claims that this is mere bosh, saying that it's neither initiated nor is it funding anti-trust lawsuits from small companies like or -- the latter of whom is being represented by Charles "Rick" Rule, Microsoft's chief outside counsel on competition issues. Then again, if we remember correctly Ciao -- the European online shopping portal -- didn't have any problems with how Google did business until they were snatched up by Microsoft recently. Coincidence? Inevitable? Both? We can't say, but things are sure to get interesting.