Google warns that Microsoft could monopolize the Internet with Yahoo

Google warns that Microsoft could monopolize the Internet with Yahoo

Summary: Google's SVP of Corporate Developer and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond posted a statement about Microsoft's bid for Yahoo. The gist of the statement is that Microsoft could "attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC.

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Google's SVP of Corporate Developer and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond posted a statement about Microsoft's bid for Yahoo. The gist of the statement is that Microsoft could "attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC."

Google is prepping the regulators of the world to look unfavorably upon Microsoft's attempt to compete with the search giant.

Drummond (the proxy for Google's executive team) asks:

Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email, IM, and web-based services? Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions -- and consumers deserve satisfying answers.

In the name of Internet openness, choice and innovation, Google begs policy makers to think the worst of Microsoft, which has a history of bad behavior when it comes to level playing fields. It's not hard for regulators to think the worst of the company Bill Gates built.

On the other hand, Google seems to running away with the search business, and will end up dominating (monopolizing?) search over the next few years if the current trends continues. And that concerns Microsoft and Yahoo.

Basically, Google is trying to throw a wrench in Microsoft's gears. Given its history of predatory behavior, Microsoft will likely need to make some Do No Evil promises with regulators to allow the transaction with Yahoo to be completed.

Following is the full statement:

Yahoo! and the future of the Internet Posted by David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

The openness of the Internet is what made Google -- and Yahoo! -- possible. A good idea that users find useful spreads quickly. Businesses can be created around the idea. Users benefit from constant innovation. It's what makes the Internet such an exciting place.

So Microsoft's hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. 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.

Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies -- and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets.

Could the acquisition of Yahoo! allow Microsoft -- despite its legacy of serious legal and regulatory offenses -- to extend unfair practices from browsers and operating systems to the Internet? In addition, Microsoft plus Yahoo! equals an overwhelming share of instant messaging and web email accounts. And between them, the two companies operate the two most heavily trafficked portals on the Internet. Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email, IM, and web-based services? Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions -- and consumers deserve satisfying answers.

This hostile bid was announced on Friday so there is plenty of time for these questions to be thoroughly addressed. We take Internet openness, choice and innovation seriously. They are the core of our culture. We believe that the interests of Internet users come first -- and should come first -- as the merits of this proposed acquisition are examined and alternatives explored.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel and senior vice president responded to Drummond, citing Google's search share:

Today, Google is the dominant search engine and advertising company on the Web. Google has amassed about 75 percent of paid search revenues worldwide and its share continues to grow. According to published reports, Google currently has more than 65 percent search query share in the U.S. and more than 85 percent in Europe. Microsoft and Yahoo! on the other hand have roughly 30 percent combined in the U.S. and approximately 10 percent combined in Europe.

Microsoft is committed to openness, innovation, and the protection of privacy on the Internet. We believe that the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! will advance these goals.

Below is the data for U.S. visits for areas such as email, instant messaging and service from Hitwise that puts fear into Google:

Topics: Browser, Emerging Tech, Google, Microsoft, Social Enterprise

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5 comments
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  • What about Google's ties to Firefox

    Why no complaints that Google is default search provider in Firefox? Firefox also sends page visits to Google for anti-phishing checks. And if you enter a key word on address line, something that doesn't look like legitimate domain name or URL, Firefox redirects to Google search, even though my default search engine is Yahoo. How much of Google "global search share" is attributable to these indirect searches. I use Yahoo search in IE as well, and IE honors my choice of search engines for keyword searches. IE always sends anti-phishing checks to a Microsoft anti-phishing URL.
    killerbunny
    • Nope

      Google Search is Google and Firefox is Mozilla. No monopoly here.
      pablo Dante
  • That's a good one!

    Google complaining about someone else monopolizing the internet. Now, that's a good one!
    itpro_z
  • The guys at google would make great politicians

    After all, you need to be able to talk out of both sides of your mouth at the same time.

    But using logic from the MS antitrust case, Google should be fined immediately as it has the biggest market share. Never mind that you can easily use another search provider.

    How long can we let this outrage continue?
    otaddy
  • RE: Google warns that Microsoft could monopolize the Internet with Yahoo

    Come on people. Google is just as 'evil' Microsoft. Google took 'Writely', turned it into 'Google Docs'. Google took Grand Central, turned it into Google Voice. And so on.
    The only difference between Google and MS is that Google is new, and marketed their brand as a 'nice guy' ("do no evil") brand. They are like Obama, I nice, tasty, appetizing package that people find easier to swallow. (Obama = yummy, Bush = yucky), (Microsoft = yucky, Google = yummy).
    ElvisIsntNotDead