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Google VP: MS Yahoo Bid Bad for Internet

Google VP: MS Yahoo Bid Bad for Internet

by , 7:55 AM EST, February 4th, 2008

Microsoft's offer to buy Yahoo spells bad news for the Internet, according to Google's Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond. He thinks that if Microsoft completes the purchase it could undermine the "openness and innovation" the Internet is built on.

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

Microsoft presented Yahoo with a US$44.6 billion buy out offer on February 1 after the Internet portal and search company reported a substantial drop in earnings earlier in the week. Yahoo's Board of Directors and shareholders still need to agree to the offer, and the deal must also pass standard regulatory approval.

Microsoft claimed it could offer consumers better online services and choices by purchasing Yahoo. Microsoft Platforms & Services Division president Kevin Johnson commented "The industry will be well served by having more than one strong player, offering more value and real choice to advertisers, publishers and consumers."

Google, however, sees the possible deal as something more than a way for Microsoft to cash in on Internet-based advertising revenue. By combining forces with Yahoo, Mr. Drummond claims, Microsoft will control the largest percentage of instant messaging and Web-based email accounts. He also pointed out that both companies already run the two most heavily trafficked Internet portals.

With their forces combined, Mr. Drummond fears that Microsoft may use its monopoly status to unfairly limit consumer choices for Internet-based services like instant messaging and Web-based email.

"This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another," he said. "It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation."

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