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Advocacy Group Calls For Scrutiny Of Microsoft-Yahoo Deal

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Advocacy organization Consumer Watchdog is urging the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to look closely at the proposed Microsoft-Yahoo search deal to ensure there are no antitrust violations and that user privacy is guaranteed.

Under the proposed deal Yahoo would use Microsoft’s Bing to sell ads that appear with search results. Google currently has 65 percent of the U.S. search market. Microsoft and Yahoo have 28 percent. Conventional wisdom is that the combination of the two smaller search businesses would offer stronger competition to Google.

John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog
John M. Simpson
Consumer Watchdog

"Whenever competitors combine, serious antitrust issues are raised. Those issues need to be resolved to the satisfaction of the Justice Department as well as European regulatory authorities," said John M. Simpson, an advocate with Consumer Watchdog.

"Even more important are questions about users’ personal data, how it is collected, stored and shared.  The Federal Trade Commission must ensure that consumers have control of information about them and that privacy guarantees are enforced."

Consumer Watchdog said the business model of search advertising companies is to collect as much information on users as possible and to use the data to target advertising. It says most Internet users are unaware of the amount of information about them that is gathered.

"If the result of this deal is that there are two stronger Internet search enterprises who exploit users’ data at the expense of their privacy rights, consumers are worse off, not better," said Simpson.

"Users must have control of their data – whether it is collected and how it is used.  Guarantees of that control must be in place before this deal is approved. Justice and the FTC can – and must – insist on this."

Advocacy Group Calls For Scrutiny Of Microsoft-Yahoo Deal
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  • Guest

    People worrying about anti-trust, I could say the same about governments but they seem to get away with it, we send our information accross the world electronically every day. Whether you like or dislike microsoft, people just like to try to knock them down all the time no matter what.

    Surely we as the end users want the best product, if Google could not keep up then they would not have ventured into this area, I think even with this proposed partnership Google will beat them hands down. Afterall look at the issues Microsoft have with their operating systems, let them get that right then I will take them serious.

  • http://www.homesolarpowersystems.org Home Solar Power Systems

    Currently Google has 65 percent of the U.S. search market whereas Microsoft and Yahoo have 28 percent which is very low. I don

  • http://stocksatbottom.com Michael

    Google has been eating micrisofts and yahoos lunch for a long time. I would look for to the two of them taming google and knocking down a notch or two.