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No Salvation for Yahoo! from News Corp.

Murdoch is not interested in Yahoo! and even less interested in AOL. Ditto NBC Universal and Comcast.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, who knows a thing or two about hostile takeovers and last year proposed merging his MySpace property with Yahoo, told Wall Street Monday that he's not interested in Yahoo! and even less interested in AOL. Ditto NBC Universal and Comcast.

Google Blinks, Raises Objections to Microsoft-Yahoo Merger
Google doesn't like the idea of Microsoft buying Yahoo any more than Microsoft likes the idea of Google buying DoubleClick.

In a blog Google general counsel David Drummond posted on Super Bowl Sunday Microsoft's $44.6 billion hostile bid for Yahoo "raises troubling questions."

"This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another," he wrote. "It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation," throwing in Microsoft's face allegations of possible monopolization and antitrust leverage into "new, adjacent markets."

"Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC?" he said. "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?"

Drummond expressed concern over the combined share of instant messaging and e-mail accounts that a merged Microsoft-Yahoo would have, urging "policymakers around the world" to question consumers ability to access competitors' e-mail, IM and Web Services if the combination is allowed, urging that "alternatives" be "explored."

Ironically when Microsoft announced its offer for Yahoo last Friday it clearly indicated that it was meant to address the swelling dominance of Google in both search and online advertising.

And Microsoft isn't taking Google mudslinging lying down. Its general counsel Brad Smith immediately responded with a statement claiming, "The combination of Microsoft and Yahoo will create a more competitive marketplace by establishing a compelling number two competitor for Internet search and online advertising. The alternative scenarios only lead to less competition on the Internet."

"Today," he continued, "Google is the dominant search engine and advertising company on the web. Google has amassed about 75% of paid search revenues worldwide and its share continues to grow. According to published reports, Google currently has more than 65% search query share in the US and more than 85% in Europe. Microsoft and Yahoo on the other hand have roughly 30% combined in the US and approximately 10% combined in Europe. Microsoft is committed to openness, innovation and the protection of privacy on the Internet. We believe that the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo will advance these goals."

The only serious obstacle to Google acquiring DoubleClick is the European Commission's ongoing review of the proposed acquisition, which is believed to be unlikely to stop it despite objections from Microsoft, AT&T and Yahoo as well as the privacy contingent.

Microsoft's acquisition of Yahoo is also supposedly likely to clear antitrust regulators though a long review is anticipated.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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