State Lawmaker Urges Probe Of Yahoo/Google Deal

  • July 30, 2008
A state lawmaker in California is urging the attorney general's office to investigate Yahoo's search pact with Google.

"The impact of such potential market concentration--in both internet search and search advertising--left in the hands of one company, at the very least, wararnts rigorous scrutiny," California assemblyman Joel Anderson wrote to the state's Attorney General Edmund Brown.

As part of its efforts to nix Microsoft's recent takeover bid, Yahoo arranged to outsource a small portion of its paid search results to Google. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether the arrangement is a threat to competition. In aAddition, state attorneys general in Florida and Connecticut are probing the deal.

Anderson also questioned whether the deal would give Google access to additional information about consumers. "We must ensure that the proper consumer safegaurds and transparency are put in place to protect privacy. The ability to 'data mine' online behavior in order to find specific consumers interested in specific products is a big part of Google's revenue stream and business plan," Anderson wrote.

The California assemblyman has previously raised questions about Google's privacy practices. Last month, he joined advocacy groups in asking Google to place a link to its privacy policy on the home page.--Wendy Davis

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