'Formal war': Why Google is ready to throw a hissy fit over Microsoft/Yahoo!


In Internet time, the Microsoft bid for Yahoo! is not already old news, but it’s also teetering on the boring. All the more reason to squeeze out detail after detail, then, about each party’s motives and why, as chief executive put it, Google may have just declared “formal war” on Microsoft. Hooray for war metaphors.

As you know, Google doesn’t like the deal because it threatens its search business, its online application business (Google Docs and the like), its ad business, etc. If Microsoft is allowed to purchase Yahoo!, then Redmond will gain an unfair advantage in some of these areas. (Just think of the percentage of e-mail accounts are Yahoo! and Hotmail.) That’s why Google wants people, legislators and regulators chief among them, to remember what happened in the 1990s when Microsoft was the de-facto new world company: homogenization, innovation stagnation and the sky fell.

Expect this story to be more protracted than that silly XM-Sirius merger.

Microsoft Adversary Rises Instinctively at Yahoo Bid [New York Times]