Oh, Herb! You Did Remember!
An afternoon with the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee. What a miserable way to celebrate a special occasion.
Yet that’s exactly how Jerry Yang marked his one-year anniversary as CEO of Yahoo (YHOO). Yesterday Yang paid a visit to Capitol Hill in the hopes of tempering antitrust concerns over the Internet company’s proposed search-advertising pact with rival Google (GOOG).
During his one-day visit, Yang met with Sen. Herb Kohl (D., Wisc.), who chairs the antitrust subcommittee and has raised concerns about the long-term implications of Yahoo’s proposed deal with Google. Yahoo maintains its venture with Google won’t have an anticompetitive impact on the online-search market because it involves only a portion of Yahoo’s search business. But others (read: Microsoft [MSFT]) disagree and argue it’s the beginning of a process that will end with Yahoo outsourcing all of that business to Google and consolidating, oh say … 90% of the search-advertising market in the search sovereign’s hands.
“On the surface, it may be a compelling argument,” Rebecca Arbogast, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, said of Yahoo’s claim that the deal is benign. But she added: “Over time, what this is doing is setting up a trajectory where [advertisers] move over to Google and they become the only game in town.”