Google gives Microsoft (MSFT) another thing to think about as it debates its Yahoo options: Google (GOOG) thinks anti-trust regulators will be fine with a Google-Yahoo outsourced search deal. Reuters:
Google believes regulators would not bar a potential business deal with Yahoo (YHOO) because it would be “non-exclusive” and falls short of an outright merger, a person familiar with Google’s thinking said on Friday….
Google believes such a partnership would not be anti-competitive because it would be an arrangement in which Yahoo would use Google’s more profitable search advertising platform to make more money for itself, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A deal would be no different from partnerships Google has with other Web companies including Time Warner Inc’s (TWX.N) AOL and IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI.O), the source said.
This argument seems reasonable, and it’s one reason we don’t think the legality of the partnership will be a factor in the Microsoft situation. Even if Microsoft or another party sues to block the deal, we doubt the partnership could be prevented in time to change the current Yahoo-Microsoft power-balance.
Of course, the Google source then goes on to destroy his or her credibility by parroting Google’s silly party line about how the anti-trust regulators WILL be up in arms about a Microsoft-Yahoo combo:
By contrast, Google thinks a takeover by Microsoft of Yahoo would raise far more antitrust concerns because the combined company could corner large chunks of multiple markets, from Web mail to instant messaging, the person said.
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