Google balks at Microsoft bid for Yahoo
The Internet giant says it finds "troubling" Microsoft's multi-billion-dollar bid to acquire rival Yahoo and urges US and international regulators to strenuously vet the proposed deal.business Updated: Feb 04, 2008 10:36 IST
Internet giant Google said on Sunday it finds "troubling" Microsoft's multi-billion-dollar bid to acquire rival Yahoo and urged US and international regulators to strenuously vet the proposed deal.
"Microsoft's hostile bid for Yahoo raises troubling questions," read a statement by David Drummond, Google's senior vice president for corporate development and chief legal officer.
"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," he said in a written statement.
He accused Microsoft of using its competitive advantage in the personal computer market to gain "inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet" and said it was likely to try to do the same if it acquires Yahoo.
"Microsoft has frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies -- and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets," he said, adding that the Redmond, California-based company has a "legacy of serious legal and regulatory offenses" which it could not extend to the Internet.
Microsoft announced on Friday it is courting California-based Yahoo with a 44.6-billion-dollar offer.
Members of Congress's House of Representatives Judiciary Committee have scheduled a hearing later this week to probe the antitrust implications of such a merger.
The committee's Antitrust and Competitive Policy task force will hold the hearing to give the proposed Microsoft-Yahoo merger "careful examination," the panel said in a statement.
Yahoo would give Microsoft a search engine to compete with Google's; a popular web portal for email, shopping and news, as well as one of the most recognized brands among online users.
The deal could reshape the landscape for high technology by combining Microsoft and one of the leading brands on the Internet.
The move comes as Yahoo is losing ground rapidly in the Internet space to Google, a search leader which has cashed in on the market for online advertising.