Report: Yahoo, Google Announce Plans to Further Annoy Microsoft
Well this ought to cause a chair-tossing tantrum or two up at Microsoft HQ. This afternoon Yahoo (YHOO), which has been searching for alternatives to Microsoft’s (MSFT) unsolicited $44.6 billion acquisition offer, said it will explore a search-advertising partnership with its greatest rival–Google (GOOG).
The Internet portal will soon begin a “limited” two-week test of Google AdSense with an eye toward a broader search-ad outsourcing arrangement. That said, this tentative first step is by no means a harbinger of a larger deal. “… The testing does not necessarily mean that Yahoo will join the AdSense for Search program or that any further commercial relationship with Google will result,” Yahoo said in a statement.
It certainly doesn’t. Not if Microsoft has anything to say about it. In a hastily issued statement Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, cried monopoly over the exploratory alliance.”Any definitive agreement between Yahoo! and Google would consolidate over 90 percent of the search advertising market in Google’s hands,” Smith said. “This would make the market far less competitive, in sharp contrast to our own proposal to acquire Yahoo! We will assess closely all of our options. Our proposal remains the only alternative put forward that offers Yahoo! shareholders full and fair value for their shares, gives every shareholder a vote on the future of the company, and enhances choice for content creators, advertisers, and consumers.”