Another Take on Microsoft-Yahoo Agreement

Lora Bentley

After reading Monday that at least one antitrust attorney thinks Microsoft's alliance with Yahoo will not survive antitrust scrutiny -- primarily because Microsoft has such deep pockets and is a serious Google competitor on its own -- I decided to find out what others thought.


McKenna Long & Aldridge partner and antitrust litigator Philip Bartz doesn't necessarily think it's a foregone conclusion that the partnership will fail. In fact, he says it "will be a close question."


In response to my e-mail inquiry on the matter, Bartz said:

Google dominates the market, and that is why its acquisition of Yahoo was problematic under the antitrust laws. Here, you have two relatively weak competitors proposing a joint venture with the intended result of having a stronger number two. So it really depends on how you think about this. Would you rather have two fairly weak competitors to Google, or one stronger one? Depending on the facts and circumstances, it will be a judgment call.

This will certainly be one to watch in the weeks to come.

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