Large Marketing Community Opposes Google-Yahoo Deal

    September 8, 2008

The Association of National Advertisers is pretty important; its members have spent over $100 billion on marketing-related efforts.  Unfortunately for Google and Yahoo, the ANA isn’t supporting their search advertising deal, and has instead expressed its objections in a letter to the Department of Justice.

The organization’s response isn’t based on a knee-jerk reaction to unexpected change.  A statement from Bob Liodice, the ANA’s president and CEO, explained, "ANA conducted a comprehensive, independent analysis, which included input from the Board’s members and face-to-face discussions with Google and Yahoo."

 Bob Liodice
  Bob Liodice

As for the ANA’s findings, "The letter . . . notes that a Google-Yahoo partnership will control 90 percent of search advertising inventory and states ANA’s concerns that the partnership will likely diminish competition, increase concentration of market power, limit choices currently available and potentially raise prices to advertisers for high quality, affordable search advertising."

Since these details and conjectures don’t exactly qualify as new information, they may not turn out to be showstoppers.  There’s also Google’s seeming disregard of the DOJ’s opinion to consider.

Still, it’s interesting that such a large and powerful group of advertisers find the Google-Yahoo partnership objectionable.  Microsoft or some other competitor might wind up being able to capitalize on the bad feelings.