When Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO) signed their ad deal in June, which allows Yahoo to run Google ads on its U.S. and Canadian search results, the companies said they would wait three-and-a-half months, so that the Feds could give them antitrust clearance. That deadline is now about a month away and yesterday on Bloomberg (launches the video player), Google CEO Eric Schmidt seemed to suggest that the deal would go forward even if the companies don’t get regulatory approval:
Interviewer: When do you expect to hear approval, disapproval from the Department of Justice and are you ready to move forward with it, even if you don’t get that (approval)?
Schmidt: Well in fact we are going to move forward with it. In the middle of June we announced a deal and we had talked to government because we want to work with the government… And we suggested a three and half month hiatus before we turned the deal on. So we’re currently planning on turning on that deal toward the end of September early October.
Does that mean that Google will start the deal, regulators be damned? We’re not sure – Bloomberg quotes a Google PR person who seems to clarify. But it’s not really a clarification. More of a muddling:
“We continue to cooperate with regulators. Ultimately we have confidence that they’ll be able to conduct their review within that time period and allow us to move forward.”
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