Google and Apple now threatened by the US antitrust laws helped build their technology empires | Technology

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SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Justice Department’s double-barreled antitrust attack on Google’s dominant search and Apple’s trendsetting iPhone is reviving memories of the epic battle that hobbled Microsoft before it roared back to yet again become the world’s most valuable company.

The parallels to the Justice Department’s landmark antitrust case in 1998 could provide a window into the potential breakthroughs that could be unleashed if regulators succeed in their attempts to crack down on Google and Apple.

Federal lawyers have even gone as far as to assert Google and Apple may never have created so many popular products or become as powerful as they are now if Microsoft hadn’t been reined in a quarter century ago.

In closing arguments of a Washington, D.C., trial that began last September, regulators Thursday will apply the finishing touches to a case alleging Google has turned its search engine into an illegal monopoly that stifles competition and innovation. The Apple case, which was only filed a month ago, is still years away from its resolution.

Although regulators have lodged separate complaints against Google and Apple, the two cases are shadowed by Microsoft’s legal saga that…


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