Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, got his hands nice and dirty and threw some mud Google's way at Microsoft's recent financial analyst's meeting, accusing the search company of being a monopoly.

"I do believe that Google's practices are worthy of discussion with competition authority, and we have certainly discussed them with competition authorities,"

Of course, Microsoft should know all about monopolies and anti-trust given their legal track record, and this looks like a case of "If we can't get away with it, why should they?"

Microsoft's Bing rakes for 17.9% of the world's search share (second only to Google), and according to Ballmer, they're effectively being outspent by Google:

"...if we have exactly the same quality of algorithms, but a lot less scale in search advertising, we will get less revenue per search than Google does, which means they have more money to pay for distribution on Samsung devices, or Apple. So we have to generate volume in order to step up."

To be fair, when you're taking on a search engine that's so widely used that the company name has become a verb, second place is probably the best anyone can hope for.

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