merger – with chief executive Eric Schmidt insisting that any such deal would be ‘bad for the internet’.
Microsoft’s huge bid for control of Yahoo would immediately create an online force that could potentially compete with industry giant Google.
Therefore the opposition of Schmidt is anything but unexpected, especially in light of both companies’ grumblings about Google’s merger with DoubleClick.
The European Union ratified that deal last week after a year of wrangling, which bodes well for Microsoft’s hopes of pushing any merger through the anti-trust barriers in the future, something that Schmidt seems well aware of.
"We would be concerned by any kind of acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft," Schmidt told Reuters.
"We would hope that anything it did would be consistent with the openness of the internet, but I doubt it would be.
"We are concerned that there are things Microsoft could do that would be bad for the internet."
However, many online advertisers are far from opposed to any deal, with the Financial Times reporting that the general feeling is that it would open up the market. “If we have two competitors, a duopoly is better than a monopoly,” Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, told the FT.
“The deal would probably be beneficial for advertisers, not just in encouraging price competition but also in terms of improvements in technology and the offerings for clients,” added Robert Lerwill, chief executive of Aegis.
“I think people underestimate the strength of Microsoft and Yahoo. Google has got search sewn up, but in display Yahoo is better than Google, so I think the combination of the two companies could provide a decent counterbalance.”