Is Google the next Microsoft in the eyes of the DOJ?

Logo GoogleThe departure of one of America's leading antitrust attorneys from his law firm, and his subsequent hiring by the US Dept. of Justice, suggests very strongly that the DOJ may be preparing for its most serious antitrust offensive in years.

Sanford Litvack, who was antitrust chief during the Carter administration and former Vice Chairman of the Walt Disney Company, has reportedly been hired by the US Justice Dept., apparently to look over Google's ad deal with Yahoo. This follows weeks of depositions and subpoenas in the DOJ's investigation of the deal, which began last April and which recently became a formal inquiry.

As The Wall Street Journal first reported yesterday, without citing sources, Litvack's job will be to look over the evidence gathered so far and make a decision on how to proceed. BetaNews independently confirmed that Litvack is no longer an attorney with Hogan & Hartson.

Further reporting by The New York Times confirmed that Litvack was hired by the Justice Dept., though its source with the law firm did not state what his assignment would be. It then confirmed, through two of its own anonymous sources, that Litvack would be appointed to the Google/Yahoo case.

Google's increasing dominance in certain key sectors of online advertising has led competitors to associate it with "monopoly," which is legal under US law, though it requires strict regulation. Possible DOJ action may remind some of the government's long, drawn-out case against Microsoft, almost ten years ago to the day.

Competitors are worried that the Google/Yahoo deal has implicit exclusivity, which could be used to obstruct free competition. Some have already asked the DOJ and other government authorities to stop the deal.

One of two possible outcomes of the DOJ's inquiry is that it could compel the two companies to make changes in order to gain approval. Or, it could sue to block the deal altogether -- and it is this latter possibility that might necessitate the hiring of someone like Sanford Litvack.

The Justice Department is not commenting to the press on the move, and requests for comment by BetaNews went unanswered as of press time. Yahoo said that it knew of the hiring, but remained confident that the deal was lawful.

Google has also repeatedly argued that the deal does not run afoul of any antitrust law. It points out that the deal is non-exclusive, and Yahoo retains the rights as to when and where its ads are displayed.

The deal means about $800 million annually in extra revenue for Yahoo, according to estimates.

Source: BetaNews

Tags: Google, Yahoo

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
Consumer group recommends iPhone 8 over anniversary model
 
LTE connections wherever you go and instant waking should come to regular PCs, too
 
That fiction is slowly becoming a reality
 
The Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC includes the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem
 
Human moderators can help make YouTube a safer place for everyone
 
Google says Progressive Web Apps are the future of app-like webpages
 
All 2018 models to sport the 'notch'
 
The biggest exchange in South Korea, where the BTC/KRW pair is at $14,700 now
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (4)