The Justice Department is investigating whether Microsoft and Apple, is trying to kill off a Google-backed free alternative technology for delivering online video.
The DoJ has launched a formal antitrust probe into a group called MPEG LA whose members include Redmond and Jobs' Mob. The allegation is that it is trying to cripple an alternative format called VP8 that Google released last year -- "by creating legal uncertainty over whether users might violate patents by employing that technology."
VP8 is an alternative to the paid for MPEG which has made Apple and Redmond a lot of dosh. The concern is that Apple or Microsoft is trying to sabotage Google's open video efforts by eagerly contributing patents to MPEG LA which could result in the search engine outfit being sued.
If there is a big pool of Patents in the hands of MPEG LA and its H.264 licensees it might mean that the threat of a patent pool or possible patent litigation will mean that people will shy away from adopting the Google technology.