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Microsoft Retort To Google on Yahoo! Bid: "Microsoft Is Committed to Openness"

"The combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! will create a more competitive marketplace"

"Google has amassed about 75 percent of paid search revenues worldwide and its share continues to grow. ...Microsoft and Yahoo! on the other hand have roughly 30 percent combined in the U.S. and approximately 10 percent combined in Europe." That, in brief, was the reply Microsoft's General Counsel issued this afternoon to the statement by his opposite number at Google suggesting that Microsoft's hostile did for Yahoo! raises "troubling questions."

Issued in the name of Brad Smith, Microsoft's General Counsel, the brief statement - issued as a worldwide press release - contained just three paragraphs:
"The combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! will create a more competitive marketplace by establishing a compelling number two competitor for Internet search and online advertising. The alternative scenarios only lead to less competition on the Internet.

Today, Google is the dominant search engine and advertising company on the Web. Google has amassed about 75 percent of paid search revenues worldwide and its share continues to grow. According to published reports, Google currently has more than 65 percent search query share in the U.S. and more than 85 percent in Europe. Microsoft and Yahoo! on the other hand have roughly 30 percent combined in the U.S. and approximately 10 percent combined in Europe.

Microsoft is committed to openness, innovation, and the protection of privacy on the Internet. We believe that the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! will advance these goals."

The statement comes just hours after one by David Drummond, Google's Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, in which Drummond wrote:

"Microsoft's hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions.  This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation."


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Justice 02/03/08 05:50:05 PM EST

The U.S. Justice Department is 'interested' in reviewing the antitrust implications of the deal, agency spokeswoman Gina Talamona said last week.