Google and Yahoo fling earns Justice Department's evil eye
Schmidt's life raft also probed
Yahoo's recent dalliance with Google's search advertising business may be getting a little adult supervision from US trust busters, who are concerned it could violate antitrust law.
According to Reuters, Justice Department chaperons are investigating Yahoo's test of Google's ad engine. Recently, the two companies signaled their limited, two-week fling could blossom into a full-fledged partnership.
These long-range plans appear to be cause for concern at the Justice Department, and it's not hard to see why. Google and Yahoo return 63 per cent and 17 per cent of the world's searches, respectively. If Yahoo expanded the partnership to cover all its searches (it's less than 3 percent now), Google's ad engine would accompany 80 percent of all search results.
Justice department officials are also looking in to a telephone call in which Google CEO Eric Schmidt offered Yahoo counterpart Jerry Yang help in rebuffing Microsoft's $44.6bn marriage proposal. Microsoft is none too happy about the alliance and has recently threatened a proxy fight if Yang and company don't comply.
The Justice Department scrutiny doesn't seem to have taken anyone by surprise at Google and Yahoo. Both companies gave antitrust officials a heads-up about their plans before ever going forward with the test. ®
The funniest thing in this matter so far was about two weeks ago when Microsoft was complaining that no one should be allowed 90% of a market.
Still waiting to see what happens when folks start drawing parallels between Googl-Hoo's combined share of the search/ad market and Microsoft's share of the PC OS market.
Surely, Microsoft doesn't believe that a monopoly is *always* a bad thing.
Maybe having a DOJ inquiring into Yahoo! would discourage Microsoft? Maybe that's what G & Y! want...
Google and Y! must be scared sleepless. NOT.
If the DOJ's handling of MS is anything to go by, the DOJ watchdogs have rubber teeth and nothing will happen until the EU does something.