Google and Yahoo are working to settle any antitrust issues arising from their proposed joint online ad venture, the Wall Street Journal reports. Google has offered a cap on the volume of ads it sells Yahoo, which may be willing to continue selling search ads to avoid lengthy legal battles that threaten to stifle the deal.
Federal investigators are still building a lawsuit in case the talks fail. Advertisers and rival Microsoft say the deal, which gives the Internet giants control of 80% of Web search ads, will limit competition and raise prices in the booming market. Yet even if Google escapes scrutiny this time, a settlement could brand it a monopoly and invite lawsuits.