updated 09:45 am EDT, Fri May 16, 2008
Yahoo Rushing Google Deal
Yahoo is accelerating the process of launching an expanded Google deal to stave off investor Carl Icahn's board takeover attempt and a resulting Microsoft buyout, say alleged sources for the New York Post. The renewed threat of a Microsoft acquisition has supposedly led Yahoo to step up plans that would let any company make bids for ad placements on Yahoo's search system, effectively rewarding Google by handing the bulk of sales to the most dominant ad provider.
A deal may be made public as early as the coming week, the information suggests.
Google's chief legal counsel, Kent Walker, is reportedly helping Yahoo construct the deal to avoid antirust law violations that are likely to surface from giving Google even greater control over web advertising.
The accelerated gesture is commonly accepted to have the dual purposes of improving Yahoo's bottom line as well as souring any possible takeover, whether by Icahn or by Microsoft. A short trial proved successful for Yahoo, while a deep Google connection would discourage Microsoft by forcing it to gut any existing ad deals should it successfully buy Yahoo.