Japan Is OK With A Google-Yahoo Search Monopoly

yahoo japan

Photo: Associated Press

Japanese authorities are OK with Yahoo and Google combining to own the search market.Speaking at a press conference today, Takahide Matsuyama executive secretary of Japan’s FTC said he doesn’t think Yahoo Japan-Google is an antitrust matter because they are “doing search and ad businesses separately.”

Matsuyama says this is different than when Yahoo and Google tried to tie up in the U.S. because, “In the U.S., the concern was that the companies would go from advertising competitors to collaborators. If they continue to compete for advertisers, the issue of changing your search engine is not an anti-trust problem.”

Google will be powering the search engine for Yahoo Japan for the next years, the company announced yesterday.

The move appears to have blindsided Microsoft, which just launched in Japan, and is partnering with Yahoo everywhere else in the world. Because Yahoo Japan is independent of Yahoo U.S., it doesn’t have to do what Yahoo U.S. does.

Ted Henneberry, an antitrust expert and senior partner at law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe told us he’s, “actually quite surprised, and puzzled,” that Japan would be OK with this deal. “In most jurisdictions, this deal would raise very serious and substantial competition concerns.”

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