John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Jerry Brown Tops Google/Yahoo Antitrust Pig Pile

Now that the Justice Department has asked a hotshot litigator to review the proposed search-advertising partnership between Google and Yahoo, everyone seems to be getting into the act. California Attorney General Jerry Brown is reportedly looking askance at the deal, apparently with an eye toward an investigation. While Brown’s office hasn’t yet taken any formal action, it is said to be sharing documents with the Justice Department through “a confidential online document repository.”

Google (GOOG), for its part, continues to claim its pact with Yahoo (YHOO) is beneficial to competition, and seems prepared to go through with it. “While there has been a lot of speculation about this agreement’s potential impact on advertisers or ad prices, we think it would be premature for regulators to halt the agreement before we implement it and everyone can judge the actual impact,” the company said after the Association of National Advertisers sent a letter to the Justice Department opposing it. Of course, the flip side of that is that it might be premature for Google to move ahead with the agreement before regulators say they’re comfortable with it. Said Stifel Nicolaus analyst Blair Levin, “it would be risky … to proceed if they are getting signals that the agency has serious concerns.”