I’m honestly not too exited about the pending search deal between Yahoo and Microsoft. The idea of slapping Bing’s search interface for people who don’t know how to search on the young demographic of Yahoo users isn’t really a match in my mind. If the deal actually does consummate it is a definite win for MSN from the stand point of getting the traffic volume it was never going to get otherwise. The quality of the majority of that Yahoo traffic is questionable, but it’s volume and that’s what they want and need.
But the point of this post is that this is far from being a done deal. In a previous life I got very familiar with the world of mergers, acquisitions and deals of this sort specifically from the standpoint of regulatory approval. For those of you who don’t know the main character in the upcoming drama let me introduce you to Christine Varney, she’s the Antitrust chief of the US Department of Justice and she has been very clear that:
…she would take a close look at high-tech and Internet-based markets. She also promised that antitrust enforcers wouldn’t “sit on the sidelines” during her tenure.
Before she took her position she was quoted saying:
“For me, Microsoft is so last century. They are not the problem,” Varney said at a June 19 panel discussion sponsored by the American Antitrust Institute. The U.S. economy will “continually see a problem — potentially with Google” because it already “has acquired a monopoly in Internet online advertising,” she said.
How is this quote a problem for the pending deal between Microsoft and Yahoo?