February 4, 2008

Google's view on Yahoo-Microsoft deal

Microsoft’s attempt to buy Yahoo will be one the hot topics in this internet industry in weeks to come. And Yahoo’s statement indicating that its board would indeed evaluate the deal seriously is enough to stimulate millions of thought processes.

But if you were wondering, how Google does feels about this, here is the answer. Mr. David Drummond (Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer) has posted Google's first official response to the proposed deal “Yahoo! and the future of the Internet”, and it has some bite. He has raised several questions that bring forth the darker side of this deal. He thinks the its much more than just “simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation.”

And here are the questions if anyone wants to answer:

Question 1) Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies -- and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets.

Question 2) Could the acquisition of Yahoo! allow Microsoft -- despite its legacy of serious legal and regulatory offenses -- to extend unfair practices from browsers and operating systems to the Internet? In addition, Microsoft plus Yahoo! equals an overwhelming share of instant messaging and web email accounts. And between them, the two companies operate the two most heavily trafficked portals on the Internet.

Question 3) Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email, IM, and web-based services?

And he summed it up saying that “the interests of Internet users come first -- and should come first -- as the merits of this proposed acquisition are examined and alternatives explored”

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