Microsoft has confirmed it had a hand in helping bring about a European antitrust investigation of its web competitor, Google, The Washington Post reports. Freshly empowered by its search alliance with Yahoo, Microsoft said–in its most vocal criticism of Google yet–that the world has a new monopolist to watch in the search engine giant. “Our concerns relate only to Google practices that tend to lock in business partners and content (like Google Books) and exclude competitors, thereby undermining competition more broadly,” wrote Dave Heiner, Microsoft’s vice president and deputy general counsel in a blog post last Friday. “Ultimately the competition law agencies will have to decide whether or not Google’s practices should be seen as illegal.”

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staff and wire services reports