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Monday, February 4, 2008

Google’s Statement on Microsoft’s Proposed Yahoo Acquisition

Google released a statement regarding Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo. I found the tone of their lobbying statement against a competitor surprisingly harsh. Harsh for Google, that is – we are used to similar uncool punches from e.g. Steve Ballmer against Google. They do have a point in some of what they say, though:

Microsoft’s hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It’s about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation.*

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

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?

(*Where does Google innovate when buying companies like YouTube, by the way, instead of advancing their own services in the sector?)

[Thanks DPic and Brinke!]


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