Microsoft has made a hostile takeover offer for Yahoo!. It would be difficult and time-consuming for Microsoft to try to catch up with Google in Internet searches and online advertising, but buying the moribund but prominent Yahoo! would likely vault them into a competitive second place. Google doesn't like the idea, and is working tooth and nail to stop it.
Publicly, Google came out against the deal, contending in a statement that the pairing, proposed by Microsoft on Friday in the form of a hostile offer, would pose threats to competition that need to be examined by policy makers around the world.
Privately, Google, seeing the potential deal as a direct attack, went much further. Its chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, placed a call to Yahoo’s chief, Jerry Yang, offering the company’s help in fending off Microsoft, possibly in the form of a partnership between the companies, people briefed on the call said.
Google’s lobbyists in Washington have also begun plotting how it might present a case against the transaction to lawmakers, people briefed on the company’s plans said. Google could benefit by simply prolonging a regulatory review until after the next president takes office.
In addition, several Google executives made “back-channel” calls over the weekend to allies at companies like Time Warner, which owns AOL, to inquire whether they planned to pursue a rival offer and how they could assist, these people said. Google owns 5 percent of AOL.
I'm no securities lawyer, but Google calling up their competitor and "...offering the company’s help in fending off Microsoft, possibly in the form of a partnership between the companies..." sounds like a classic monopolist combination against the public interest to me. Google doesn't seem to understand that they're the big dog now, at least in Internet search. Microsoft's dominance in operating systems and office software means nothing in this context. Anti-trust implications? The Microsoft shoe is on the Google foot now.