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Microsoft, Yahoo A Challenge For EU

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Competition aspects of the possible Microsoft and Yahoo deal may prove a difficult choice for the European Competition Commission.

Regulators in Brussels should stock up on the antacids if and when Yahoo decides to accept Microsoft’s unsolicited bid for the company.

Resource Shelf picked up on a look at the much-discussed acquisition from a European perspective. EurActiv said two perspectives on the deal could emerge.

Hans Friederiszick, a former member of the Commission’s Chief Competition Economist Team, said in EurActiv regulators in Brussels could stop the deal on the grounds it would reduce competition in the online market place.

Alternately, he thinks approving the deal would happen if regulators believe a combined Microsoft/Yahoo competes better with Google:

“The authorities could take the view that the proposed merger would be pro-competitive by creating an organisation with the strength and clout to vie more effectively with Google for market space,” Friederiszick argued.

That would be a decision that Google would not necessarily oppose, as it could in fact allow the world’s leading search engine “to argue that its likely dominant position is contested by an equally strong player,” commented Friederiszick.

Microsoft’s long-running battles with the EU over operating system and media player monopoly issues, including a newly opened investigation into web browser competition, could make approval difficult to earn. Google’s dominance may be enough of a difference-maker to influence regulators to approve the deal.

Microsoft, Yahoo A Challenge For EU
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