Oh, the sound bites! They’ll be good enough to get your rep instantly re-elected.
According to the NYT, television-loving lawmakers have postponed hearings on “The State of Competition on the Internet” until they see what Yahoo does vis-a-vis Microsoft. And when they imagine all those prime-time “How dare you invade my privacy!” bites, they’re drooling in excitement. NYT:
Senator Herb Kohl, a Democrat from Wisconsin and chairman of the Senate’s Antitrust Subcommittee, has already said that his panel will hold hearings on competitive and privacy implications if Yahoo accepts Microsoft’s offer.
And that’s not all. According to the Mercury News, a subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce has added Microsoft-Yahoo to the agenda of a previously scheduled hearing in he spring on privacy issues raised by mergers in online advertising.
Lawmakers themselves won’t decide the fate of the Microsoft-Yahoo merger, but federal regulators are expected to play a big role in such a deal. As such, currying favour with politicians — who can define the tenor of a debate by bringing key issues to regulators’ attention — may be more important than ever.
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