Regulators to Prevent Google from Bailing Out Yahoo?

Washington is on a bailout binge lately, so you would think they’d hop on board when it looks like the private sector could actually manage to work things out on their own.

Like, I don’t know, the search advertising deal between Google and Yahoo. Yes, there are concerns from the advertisers. But Yahoo keeps posting dismal profits. So, unless something magical happens to Yahoo (like an acquisition by Microsoft – oh wait), then antitrust issues won’t even matter.

But Google has been dropping hints that it might walk away from the deal because of regulations they don’t want to comply with, like caps.

It’s been projected that the deal with Google could infuse $800 million of cold hard cash into Yahoo in a year’s time. That certainly wouldn’t hurt. Of course, Yahoo would need to manage that influx well, and therein lies the problem. Perhaps regulators don’t think the deal, which could hurt advertisers, would ultimately save Yahoo.

Adding fuel to that fire is that regulators have been lobbied hard by Microsoft, who is probably looking to watch Yahoo’s stock fall into the single digits before coming back to pick it up. Microsoft may be struggling to grow its search market share, but as a whole, they have a ton of cash on hand and will weather the economic storm. Acquiring Yahoo (especially if a merger with AOL takes place) could create a stronger second place finisher in the search engine market, which would reduce anti-competitive concerns, indeed.

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