What Scared Google in the Yahoo Ad Deal? DOJ Lawsuit Would Add Monopolization Count

News.com has another post on Google/Yahoo ad deal.

Early Wednesday morning, the Department of Justice notified Yahoo and Google that if they proceeded with their controversial search agreement, it would file a lawsuit to block the deal.

In some ways, the DOJ's decision was not terribly surprising. Over the past two or three weeks, federal antitrust regulators became increasingly wary of the agreement and, in particular, tested Google's resolve to remain in the deal, according to sources. Over the past few weeks, the give-and-take of negotiations between the parties seemed to be forward progress, but faltered as government regulators became increasingly unyielding in their demands.

"Up until a few weeks ago, there was a lot of back and forth," said one source. "After that, they began turning everything down."

The M work was mentioned as striking a nerve.

Then things headed further south. Regulators, at one point two or three weeks ago, told Google that if it pursued a lawsuit to block the deal, it may consider adding a monopolization count against Google to the complaint, which in essence would allege the search giant of using its monopoly power in a relevant market. Apparently that hit a nerve with the search giant, noted a source, and it became evident to regulators that Google's resolve to fight a legal battle was wavering, rather than face the prospect of being saddled with the label of a monopolist and all the regulatory oversight that could potentially come with it.

Wouldn’t it make for an interesting world if Google and Microsoft were declared monopolies?

Can the EU be next thinking of declaring Google a monopoly? In Germany, a .com executive told me 90% of search is Google.