The joint advertising deal between Google and Yahoo, previously discussed in CyberLawg, is being delayed as the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division continues its review.
Both Yahoo and Google have correctly taken the “we’re happy to help and comply” public line. Still, there is no question that an antitrust review that needs more time is not good news for the potential bedfellows. The Google CEO’s previous suggestion that Google and Yahoo would move forward before the DOJ even completed its review looks pretty silly at this point.
Another concern: the Executive Branch will have a new leader come January. Regardless of the winner of the presidential election, it is hard to imagine that it will lead to an administration more likely to pass on comprehensive review than the current administration.
Of course, there is some question as to whether Google and Yahoo ever thought this would truly work or if they were both just looking to cool down the speculation that Yahoo would be acquired by Microsoft or another third party. Even in a circumstance where DOJ does block the deal both online ad firms do receive some benefit by maintaining their status quo as the two dominant online advertising firms even while the review is pending.