Despite some rumbles about the Google-Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) ad deal being in regulatory trouble, the two companies insist they are still talking to the U.S. Justice Department about it, CEO Eric Schmidt said today. The companies have extended their discussions with DoJ, it announced earlier this month, though Google (NSDQ: GOOG) had previously said that it would move ahad with implementing the deal in October, with or without approval from antitrust approval.
The anti-trust decision is expected anytime now, maybe as soon as this week. Depending on the decision, the two comapnies would have several options, as this AP story outlines:
-- If DoJ does make a decision soon, the two companies go ahead with their partnership and then wait to see if the government sues. While a court case would be unpleasant and cumbersome, there is no guarantee that a lawsuit would succeed - leading some to speculate that the Justice Department may just be bluffing in threatening to sue.
-- If the department does bring a court challenge, Google and Yahoo could fight, or they could simply walk away from the deal.
-- Or, as is likely to happen, the companies could offer up voluntary conditions in order to head off a possible lawsuit.
Meanwhile, in Yahoo's Q3 earnings announcement today, it outlined the costs it has incurred during Q3 and this year related to the MSFT bid, the Google-Yahoo deal and other such issues: For Q308, $37 million was incurred for outside advisors related to Microsoft's proposals, other strategic alternatives, including the Google agreement, the proxy contest, and related litigation defense, the company said. The total costs for the first nine months of this year was $72.7 million.
We will have more from Yahoo's earnings call if it says anything
By Rafat Ali