Yahoo, Google Closer To Big Ad Deal

Antitrust scrutiny certain to follow

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Look for the complaints to fly into the DoJ’s antitrust department if Google and Yahoo broaden the scope of an advertising deal placing Google ads in Yahoo’s search results.

The two companies got in touch with Justice before starting a brief trial of Google’s AdSense for Search on Yahoo. Despite those conversations, antitrust regulators still had some concerns about the top two search sites teaming up on contextual advertising.

There may be more questions after today, and we’re certain Microsoft will shout suggestions from the sidelines. The Wall Street Journal said Google and Yahoo could be close to placing a new agreement on ads into effect.

They hope to avoid the sting of an antitrust investigation by employing a new system, which would broaden the delivery of ads to any network participating in it:

The basis of such an arrangement would be a real-time auction system that would choose the most lucrative ads for any given consumer query from among those sold by Yahoo, Google and any of their competitors, the people say. Microsoft, for example, could potentially connect to the Yahoo system and have search ads it sold displayed alongside Yahoo Web-search results, under an arrangement where they likely would share ad revenue.

Plugging Google’s ads into Yahoo may be worth over a billion dollars a year in revenue to Yahoo, according to an analyst cited by the Journal.

However, the potential deal may not be universally welcome within Google’s ranks, as the Journal cited some dissension among Google’s top brass. They fear the effects of a Justice probe into the deal; Google has a global brand, one they do not want to endanger.

The decision will fall to Google’s ruling triumvirate of Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin. If they truly feel their solution will withstand Justice scrutiny, we expect it to happen, closely followed by Microsoft making whatever legal appeals it can to stop the deal.

Yahoo, Google Closer To Big Ad Deal
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