Posted December 4, 2008 9:42 am by with 13 comments

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Back in July I suggested that, despite Google’s attempts to prove a Yahoo deal would not create a monopoly, the perception of a monopoly would likely scuttle the deal.

Today, we learn that the Department of Justice was just 3 hours away from filing antitrust charges against Google:

“We were going to file the complaint at a certain time during the day,” says Litvack, who rejoins Hogan & Hartson today. “We told them we were going to file the complaint at that time of day. Three hours before, they told us they were abandoning the agreement.”

“It would have ended up also alleging that Google had a monopoly and that [the advertising pact] would have furthered their monopoly,” Litvack says.

Interesting, huh? The DoJ really did believe that a mere ad partnership was enough to tip Google into the realm of being a monopoly.

Going forward, we may well hear Google cite economic conditions or a “focus on core” products as a reason for not making any large acquisitions. However, now we know that the very next big deal Google signs, will likely come with a multi-million dollar war-chest to fight a likely DoJ charge.

  • Perhaps Google actually needs Microsoft to step up their game in order to weather the storm…

    You know this kind of reminds me of the ancient Eastern strategy game of Go. Chris Smith can add more perspective to it, but basically in order to win the game each player carves out slices of territory. Where this differs from most Western games is that the players know from the beginning that at the end of the game each one of them will have their own pieces of territory. It’s not a winner take all situation with mass domination, i.e. a monopoly. Sometimes one sacrifices territory in order to extend their game into another location.

    I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

  • Very interesting. At least they get to pass go and collect $200 : ) I wonder how this will effect their growth and how they do business or expand in the future knowing that they are on the verge of becoming a “Monopoly”.

  • Not surprising really, I’m sure they would have gone ahead with it too

  • PS3

    LOL @ ken, a classic game of our childhoods!

    Waht exactly constitues a monopoly, who sets the parameters?

  • They definitely have the money and could almost be considered a monopoly now. Lets hope the competition holds up and keeps prices down.

    Matt Helphrey’s last blog post..A Little Article Marketing Research

  • Google everyday achiveing something new. This is the part of it.

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  • They are already monopolizing the the internet, 70% of what you see on the internet has got something to do with Google.

    Diamonds’s last blog post..The Romantic History of Diamonds

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  • I agree with Diamonds. And, I think it is quite scary too. Since Google has this position they pretty much can do whatever they like. Just recently I read about a blogger who got his Adsense account suspended due to a behavior which Google called dangerous for its advertisers. This guy claims he did nothing wrong, yet his account was closed, his money lost and Google never even bothered telling him what exactly was the matter. They told him they had to refund the PPC users (which I HIGHLY doubt they ever did). Now, ok, we know Google has its rules and if you do not like them, you should not sign up. But, since they have this position, a lot of people DO sign up and can be used OR abused at will by Google.

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  • There are a lot of companies that are one merger away from a monopoly! The economy is forcing deals that never typically would have happened.

  • I personally already view Google as something of a monopoly.. this could be because in South Africa no one uses any services other than Googles… Their “competitors” might as well not even exist fro mthe viewpoint of everyone here..

  • JT

    Even though Google is the biggest search engine now, but someday someone will come up with better search engine algorithm…just wait and see.

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