Most objections to the Google/Yahoo ad deal tend to focus on the potential for an increase in advertising rates–something I’m not convinced will happen. The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) just lodged its objection with the US Department of Justice, and along with it some additional reasons why the deal could be bad for advertisers (emphasis added):
To date, competition between both these two search companies has provided a necessary check to any potential market abuses..it could have the potential of reducing the incentive for Yahoo to vigorously compete against Google across the globe.
Google and Yahoo today are the two leading suppliers of content ads and syndicated search ads to online news sites, and they compete intensely for that business. This competition forces each company to offer the best possible terms and helps ensure that newspapers earn a fair market return for the right to display ads and search boxes on their sites.
WAN does jump on the "increased prices" bandwagon, and its arguments tend to ignore the fact that Yahoo is free to consider other deals–this is not an acquisition. Still, I like the "reducing the incentive" argument.
As more objections roll-in the question is this: Does Google care if the deal gets approved or not? After all, just by its announcement, Google has managed to block Microsoft from acquiring Yahoo–perhaps that’s all the search engine giant wanted.