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Antitrust Experts Weigh Yahoo Scenarios

  • Reuters, Monday, April 14, 2008 11:15 AM
Legal experts say that a Yahoo-Google search alliance would probably run into more trouble with regulators in the U.S. and European Union than Microsoft buying the Web giant outright. Aaron Edlin, a University of California at Berkeley economics and law professor warns that you could make a greater case for a Google search monopoly if Yahoo decided to ditch its search business than you could if Microsoft were to combine the Sunnyvale, Calif. Web giant with its MSN properties.

"The Justice Department would certainly want to take a serious look at that because (a Google-Yahoo alliance) would mean that a firm that would want to take advertisements or to place advertisements (online) would have only one place to go," Edlin said.

Gregory Sidak, founder of the economic consulting firm Criterion Economics, said U.S. regulators would likely abstain from blocking any particular deal or joint venture because regulators don't fully understand the implications. Europe, on the other hand, "poses a larger antitrust risk for any of the (Yahoo) deals," he added.

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