Microsoft-Yahoo Deal Haters Emerge
Criticism of the proposed $44.6 billion cash & stock takeover of Yahoo by Microsoft has elicited negative comments from some industry observers.
Microsoft still hasn’t thrown off the yoke of its antitrust monitoring by the Department of Justice. The company could be courting (ha ha) more antitrust complaints with its $44.6 billion offer for Yahoo.
Professor Joseph Turow from Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication blames the Federal Trade Commission’s rubber-stamp of the Google-DoubleClick deal for influencing Microsoft move here:
It is further evidence that despite the appearance of unlimited choice in the new media environment, people’s activities will be tracked and shaped by a very small number of companies who care far more about surveillance and targeted advertising than the public interest.
The Federal government, which should have been the guardian of the public interest, has dropped the ball. A concerned public ought to call its political leaders to account about the problematic ways they are allowing the new digital world to develop.
Jeff Chester, director of the Center for Digital Democracy, said this deal would leave Microsoft and Google as a duopoly over “journalism, entertainment, and advertising” online:
The once most potentially democratic of all mediums – the Net – is being shaped by the same powerful forces that consolidated the “older” media of broadcasting and newspapers.
There are consequences to democratic societies everywhere, as two digital gatekeepers are likely to control how the Internet and other interactive media evolve.
In an era when individuals are increasingly conducting their personal, social and political lives online, the corporations that control the digital experience will have a far-reaching influence over every aspect of society.
In a time when Google dominates the search market and the online ad market, it is possible that the number two and three competitors can do jointly what they haven’t demonstrated any ability to do singly? That may be the question antitrust regulators consider if Yahoo accepts the Microsoft bid.