Congressional Judiciary Committees Look into Yahoo-Google Ad Partnership

Last week the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on online advertising and privacy. Today, the Judiciary Committees of the Senate and House get in on the action as it relates to the recent Yahoo-Google deal.

The Senate hearing began at 10:30 am, but is largely eclipsed by a speech by the President as well as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s umteenth appearance on Capitol Hill. You can watch it live by clicking on “Live Webcast” here.

The House hearing begins at 1:30pm and the site has links to webcast video, though I personally couldn’t get them to work on my laptop. If you’re in the DC area, head on over to 2141 Rayburn House Office Building to observe the hearing for yourself.

Google Senior VP for Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond will be appearing at both hearings and is planning to touch on the following:

  • The agreement will be good for Internet users (who will see ads that are better targeted to their interests); advertisers (whose ads will be better matched to users’ interests, allowing them to reach potential customers more efficiently), and website publishers (who will see increased revenue from better-matched ads on their websites).
  • Google and Yahoo! will remain vigorous competitors, and that competition will help fuel innovation that is good for users and the economy. Commercial arrangements between competitors are commonplace in many industries. Antitrust regulators in the US have recognized that consumers can benefit form these arrangements, especially when one company has technical expertise that enables another company to improve the quality of its products
  • The agreement will not increase Google’s share of search traffic, because Yahoo will continue to run its own search engine and compete in online search.
  • Yahoo! will make its instant messaging network interoperable with Google’s. This will mean easier and broader communication among a growing number of IM users, and enable users to choose among competing IM providers based on the merits and features of the services.
  • A number of steps have been taken in the Yahoo! agreement to protect user privacy. As Google supplies ads to Yahoo! and its partners, personally identifiable information of individual Internet users will not be shared between the companies. Yahoo! will anonymize the IP address of a searcher’s computer before passing a search request to Google.

Also scheduled to appear are:

  • Michael Callahan, General Counsel, Yahoo!
  • Brad Smith Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Microsoft
  • Matthew Crowley, Chief Marketing Officer,
  • Tim Carter, President and CEO,

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