Antitrust in a Web 2.0 World

30 July 2009

Here is a follow up post on antitrust from our guest blogger Mitchell Derman, vice president in H&K’s Corporate Practice.  If you need a refresher, you can read Mitch’s original blog post by clicking here.

-Vanessa

Antitrust in a Web 2.0 World

This past June, I posted a blog entry about antitrust and its relationship with the technology sector.  I had raised the question about whether or not the current antitrust laws could meet the dynamic challenges of a Web 2.0 world.  Well, the legal and policy pundits now have their first real opportunity with Microsoft’s and Yahoo’s announcement yesterday about a shared search deal.

Needless to say, but a truly interesting development with Yahoo fending off Microsoft’s acquisition attempts last year.  Now, Yahoo – an Internet pioneer – essentially is getting out of the search business and focusing more on content – a risky, yet bold move.  And, Microsoft, after years of attempts to counter Google’s market leadership in search appears to have a winner with Bing.

From an antitrust perspective, the central issue is: Can two companies partner to create more competition in search advertising.  Google really needs to be careful in how it positions itself; how it shapes a pro-competitive message when it is the dominant player in search advertising is indeed a challenge.  Only time will tell.

For more insights on the Yahoo/Microsoft deal, read Rob Pegoraro’s piece in today’s Washington Post.

Note: H&K does work for Yahoo! and Microsoft in various locations around the world.

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