Google offers Yahoo "help"

Google is doing its best to stop Microsoft from snatching up Yahoo, the only other big-name search engine in sight. In a move to prevent Microsoft from moving forward with its $44.6 billion hostile bid for Yahoo, Google executives worked hard over the weekend to spoil the deal. Google came out against the deal, citing the Redmond, Wash. based company's past antitrust troubles. "Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC?" asked David Drummond, Google's senior vice president and chief legal officer, writing on the company's blog. Google CEO Eric Schmidt placed a call to Yahoo's chief Jerry Yang, offering to "help" stave off Microsoft, reports the New York Times

Meanwhile, the deal is coming under the spotlight in Washington, reports The Hill. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., in a joint statement on Friday with ranking member Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said the committee planned a Feb. 8 hearing to probe the merger. The proposed combination "presents important issues regarding the competitive landscape of the Internet," said Conyers and Smith. 

Telephony Online reports the merger talk comes at a time when service providers are struggling to find their foothold in the online advertising market. Citing the renegotiated deal between AT&T and Yahoo--released before the Microsoft proposal--the story says there has been "a shift in the Web/telco power positions, with service providers now in a position able to cut better deals with their portal partners." But this dance could become politically complicated, particularly if carriers seek deals that will lead Net neutrality activists crying foul, potentially leading to new impetus for regulatory rules on the subject. 

For more:
- Google Works to Torpedo Microsoft Bid for Yahoo Article 
- Microsoft's bid for Yahoo under Congressional lens Article
- What MS+Yahoo Means for Service Providers Article 

Related article:
 - Microsoft bid creates two camps  Article