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Google-Yahoo! collects some strange enemies

Advocacy groups and rural voters

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A weird assortment of lobby groups has come out against Google and Yahoo! working together.

Although there is no formal deal in place, lobbyists including the Black Leadership Forum (which represents 35 black activist organisations), the League of Rural Voters and the Corn Growers Association have written to the Justice Department. They warn that any tie-up between the two companies would create an effective monopoly on internet searching.

The 16 groups wrote to Assistant Attorney General Thomas Barnett, warning that such mega-mergers usually work to the detriment of consumers and minority groups. It was Barnett who warned that European antitrust action against Microsoft might chill innovation and discourage competition.

The Black Leadership Forum is funded by corporate donations but does not take money from Microsoft. However, the LA Times noted, the PR company which was pitching the letter does also work for Microsoft.

The Justice Department is believed to be taking an interest in Yahoo!'s trial of using Google's ad technology. Any permanent deal would need to pass the scrutiny of US regulators. ®

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