If the Department of Justice doesn’t try to stop Google’s (GOOG) search deal with Yahoo (YHOO), state attorneys general just might.
California AG Jerry Brown is taking a long look at the Google-Yahoo ad deal and deciding whether or not to launch his own formal investigation, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Brown’s office is getting documents from the DOJ, joining at least a dozen other states that are reviewing the documents; Connecticut and Florida have opened their own investigations and have started issuing subpoenas.
It’s not hard to see why the deal is getting the scrutiny: on its face, Google and Yahoo collectively control about 90% of the search market, which sets off watchdog alarm bells. Yahoo has said that since the Google deal is non-exclusive, and Yahoo controls what keywords Google’s ads would be placed on, the deal should pass regulatory scrutiny. The company has also indicated that it will start the deal on October 1, even if it hasn’t yet heard from the DOJ.
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