The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) is not happy with the fact that Google will start serving ads to Yahoo, and they’ve asked the US Department of Justice, the European Commission and the Competition Bureau of Canada to block the deal. This is pretty much along the lines with what Microsoft’s been saying about this deal, and they’re likely to support WAN on this one, so Google and Yahoo now have some very strong opposition working against them.
WAN’s president Gavin O’Reilly is surprisingly factual in his comments about the complaint: “The proposed advertising deal between Google and Yahoo would seriously weaken that competition, resulting in less revenues and higher prices for our members. WAN is also concerned that this deal would give Google unwarranted market power over important segments of online advertising. Advertisers will increasingly migrate to Google since they will see diminishing price advantages to advertising through Yahoo. Google has refused to allow Yahoo to show Google ads on the websites of new publishing partners it acquires after the deal is finalized - in other words, Google has imposed a condition that impedes one of Yahoo’s last remaining opportunities to compete with Google. What this means for newspapers is that Yahoo’s bids for their ad business will almost certainly be lower than they are today.”
It makes sense, and the fact that many newspapers aren’t too happy with Google News (their complaints that Google is stealing content from them, however, makes very little sense, but that’s another story) isn’t helping the relations between WAN and Google. Is Google-Yahoo deal really a monopoly? It’s hard to say, but it’s not far from one; this time Google is up against its first really big hurdle, the kind of which took billions of dollars and lots of credibility from Microsoft’s pockets in the recent years.
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