As expected, the Justice Department has upgraded the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal investigation to a full mess-of-red-tape instead of a rubber-stamp job.
According to Bloomberg, the companies still expect the deal to close “on schedule.”
Two things are going on here:
- The Justice Department is getting much more heavy-handed with respect to the tech industry.
- The Justice Department effectively blocked the Yahoo-Google deal last summer, so it can’t be seen to be wimpy about the Microsoft-Yahoo one.
The Justice Department would be crazy to block this deal, but the longer it takes to complete, the better off Google will be. So Google is also presumably lobbying hard in the background.
Dina Bass And Kelly Riddell of Bloomberg: Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo! Inc. have been asked by the U.S. Justice Department for more details on a proposed Internet-search partnership, expanding the agency’s review of the agreement.
The request means regulators will do a more extensive examination, rather than approve the deal immediately. Microsoft predicted an in-depth review when the accord was announced in July, said company spokesman Jack Evans. He declined to comment on the contents of the request.