Microsoft isn’t sitting still as rumors spread that Yahoo will try to outflank a hostile takeover by allying with Google: The Redmond company is drawing up an antitrust argument it hopes will be at least as good as Google’s. The younger colossus is already claiming that Microsoft’s unsolicited $44.6 billion bid is anti-competitive, but the PC software king says a Google-Yahoo partnership is even more troublesome.
Their proposed online ad alliance, whether or not it involves revenue-sharing, could lessen Google’s imperatives to price competitively, Microsoft says. An attorney said even strategic discussions “are susceptible to challenges of unfair and improper collusion,” MarketWatch reports. Microsoft argues its own takeover plan will increase competition—combining second- and third-placers to combat an industry leader—but one watcher said regulators view two-player markets unfavorably.