Singing a Different Tune to DOJ: Please Okay Bingahoo!
It hardly seems possible, but it was just last year that the Goohoo (Yahoogle?) search ad deal was under scrutiny from the US government. Ultimately, that scrutiny killed the deal—since the DoJ informed Google that they’d face anti-trust charges if they went through with the deal.
Here we are, a year later, and two search giants are once again bringing a proposed search ad deal before the skeptical DoJ. And once again, we have a powerful organization weighing in. Last year, major advertising groups, including the American Association of Advertising Agencies, spoke out against the Googahoo deal. This year, they’re weighing in again—this time in favor of Microsoft and Yahoo’s deal.
In a letter (PDF) to the Department of Justice, Nancy Hill, president and chief executive of the 4A, urged the governmental body to approve the deal—and fast:
We believe that Yahoo and Microsoft’s proposal to combine their technologies and search platforms is good for advertisers, marketing services agencies, website publishers and consumers. These benefits are too important to wait for. As leading members of the advertising and marketing services industry, we urge the Department of Justice to bring its antitrust review to a speedy conclusion. This proposal enhances competition, and should be allowed to take effect as soon as possible.
Last year, another organization that opposed the deal, the ANA, argued against the Google-Yahoo partnership, saying it would “control 90 percent of search advertising inventory[,] . . . and . . . likely diminish competition, increase concentration of market power, limit choices currently available and potentially raise prices to advertisers for high quality, affordable search advertising.”
Of course, the obvious difference here is that Bing/Microsoft is no Google in the search world. While Bing is inching up the charts, they have nothing on the search giant.
But let’s be honest—do you think Bingahoo has a chance of taking on Google? Or do you just hope against hope?