I’m going to stick my neck out and say that I do not believe Google had any intention of going through with a partnership deal with Yahoo. Further, I believe that the only reason this deal was done was to prevent Microsoft from getting its grubby little hands on it.
For one thing, since when does Google delay a deal for a significant amount of time, so that regulators can carefully look at the details? That would be akin to a football team taking a time-out so the review booth can have the chance to overturn their OWN touchdown ruling.
Second, the WSJ is reporting that Google may walk away from the deal, rather than comply with the demands of the Justice Department. The same Google that has been criticized for bending over backwards to accommodate the Chinese government!
The option to scrap the deal has been on the table before, but Google in particular has begun considering it more seriously as Justice Department talks haven’t progressed. One sticking point has been the department’s discussion of having the companies sign a consent decree stating the terms of the partnership. That would subject their compliance to continuing oversight by a judge.
If Google had any real intention of partnering with Yahoo, I believe it would have pushed for the deal quickly and it would be eager to work with the DoJ on the terms.
Instead, Google had no real intention of partnering with Yahoo–it just wanted to block and tackle Microsoft. Job done! The question now is, what happens to Yahoo, now that it’s out in the cold?