Will Consumers Benefit From Microsoft-Yahoo Deal?

As part of my work at CBS News, I do a lot of live "2-way" interviews with radio stations and naturally, I was quite busy on Friday after Microsoft announced its hostile takeover bid for Yahoo.

After explaining the offer as best I could, the anchor inevitable asked me if I thought it would change things for consumers and, if so, would be for the better or the worse?

Usually that's a pretty easy question to answer. In general, mergers and acquisitions are bad for consumers because it removes the competition within the field. That's one of the reasons that regulators here in the U.S. and abroad like to look at these types of deals

But when it came to Microsoft taking over Yahoo, the answer wasn't so clear. As I talk about in my recent column it could go either way or the deal could have relatively little impact.

One thing is for sure, Google is doing all it can to stop or at least slow down the acquisition. Whatever its concerns are about Yahoo, Googlers do not want Microsoft operating a venerable Silicon Valley competitor. Google's statement reads almost as if it had been written by a non-profit consumer advocacy group, but is it sincere? The question that I'll pose to you is whether Google standing up for innovation and competition or just trying to protect its own dominant position in the search industry
  • Larry Magid

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