Google ( GOOG) is letting its paranoia show.

Fear of a global conspiracy by Microsoft ( MSFT) seems to have prompted Google to launch a pre-emptive media campaign, using the Wall Street Journal's front page as its soap box today.

The cloak & dagger tale Google is telling involves a couple of recent antitrust lawsuits from relatively unknown Internet sites represented by the same high-priced, high-powered law firm that serves as Microsoft's outside counsel on competition issues, according to the Journal.

Take those two cases in the U.S. and add the European Commission's antitrust review against Google -- prompted in part by complaints from Microsoft -- and you've got all the makings of a good old-fashioned conspiracy theory.

Google claims that Microsoft is launching a "proxy war" using this collection of little cases to slowly build up a big case. To retaliate, Google is using the Wall Street Journal as its own proxy for a court of law and taking its case against Microsoft straight to the public.

News Corp. ( NWS), which owns the Journal, looks a little like a pawn in this game playing by these titans of technology.

Considering Microsoft's own comeuppance by antitrust authorities in the U.S. and Europe, it's easy to see why Google's paranoia was granted credibility by the Journal. Microsoft certainly makes no bones about its own concern over Google's Web dominance. But where's the proof?

For the time being, all we've got is tantalizing supposition by Google that makes for entertaining -- if not particularly useful -- reading.

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