back to article Euro lawyers see tortuous road ahead for Microsoft's Yahoo! bid

Microsoft is likely to face a torrid time from European regulators before it can even think of closing its proposed takeover of Yahoo!. A leading UK competition lawyer told the Reg today: "Any big Microsoft acquisition is likely to be looked at very carefully, especially if it is in an area where they have been complaining …


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  1. M Room

    Stop this Madness

    We, the Internet users will loose out in a big way if the two merge. At the moment we have the choice to pick out the best from three main players - it will be very sad if, as it appears may happen, we loose this choice.

  2. Bryce Prewitt

    Silly Europeans with your logic and reasoning.

    "Asked about possible conflict with US regulators, our source added: 'It is almost inevitable there will be conflict. I don't know if there's any actual case here but there are facts to be looked at and I don't understand the American hands-off approach.'"

    Frankly, neither do us Americans.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please picture a Borg icon to the right.

    And shouldn't that be "Euro! lawyers! see! tortuous! way! ahead! for! Microsoft's! Yahoo!! bid!"?

  4. Rob
    Paris Hilton

    Now those comments translated into English....

    A leading UK competition lawyer told the Reg today:

    "First and foremost, I'm a lawyer. That means I'll say anything, no matter how ludicrous, if I think that saying it will cause uncertainty or doubt.

    "You see, we've got the corporate world so shit scared of imaginary threats that all we need to do is manufacture the slightest hint of uncertainty and me and my lawyer mates start coining it in.

    "Really, man, it's fucking magic! I've been pissed for three years solid and they've never sussed. All I have to do is look grave and mumble about 'Ooh, very uncertain, need to consult....' and they chuck wonga at me. Christ! I must have paid for half of Bolivia by now! God help me if there's a war!"

    Paris cos she's probably cleverer than most of the lawyers it's my misfortune to have to deal with.

  5. Sam


    By M Room "We, the Internet users will loose out in a big way "....It's LOSE, you shithead!!!

    As to MS forcing search links... if this ever goes ahead, it will simply make the lure of Linux that much stronger.

  6. A Franklin
    Gates Horns

    Outlook email monopoly

    Yahoo owns Zimbra, the open-source email drop-in replacement for Outlook and Exchange, which works like a dream (from personal experience). Now why would Microsoft want Zimbra ;-)

  7. Garth

    Our approach isn't Hands-off

    It is just a hands in the pants approach. That, my friends, is the Corporate American Way.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @Sam - GHHHNNNN!!!

    Sam. It is quite clear you have an adequate level of English to know the difference between 'loose' and 'lose' but may I applaud you for the emotive 'GHHHNNNN!!!'.

    It really did make me laugh out loud.

  9. KenBW2

    @Sam - GHHHNNNN!!! as well

    I was somewhat amused by the "GHHHNNNN!!!" as well. And I would like to join your Campaign for Correct English. It really gets on my wich seeing O and apostrophe abuse. GHHHNNNN!!!

    Where do I sign?

  10. Paul Taylor
    Thumb Down

    Microsoft monopoly

    "The obvious initial fear could be that Microsoft would bundle search into Windows. "

    Shame on you! Can't you think of a more imaginative conspiracy theory than that?

    A lot of (naive) people think that the Internet = the Web = their search engine. If Micros**t own both their PCs and their search engine, it has total control over their use of the Web. Micros**t Windows will make them use Explo*er, which will send them to Micros**t Yahoo!, which will deny knowledge of any web pages that haven't been created by Micros**t tools, and deliver its own search results in a form that only Explo*er can render. A much more effective way of disposing of your rivals than just making their code run v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    yeah, only Europeans would be retarded enough to try and stop this.

    The only people who would benefit from MS not flushing 44 billion dollars down the loo on the piece of c--p known as Yahoo would be Microsoft.

    Let them spend their money. Fail miserably and do nothing but leave a large hole in Mcrosofts wallet.

    Come on people - engage your brains for once.

    I know it's hard.

    But I'm sure you can do it.

  12. Matt Semper


    "...there are facts to be looked at and I don't understand the American hands-off approach."

    It's called Capitalism!

  13. Uwe Dippel

    why AC - yeah?

    Agree with you here. But I'm zero in business.

    How would MS+Yahoo value be higher than the sum of the values of MS and Yahoo?

    Actually, why would MS buy a fledging search engine, if not out of despair?

    Paris, because of the value

  14. Shabble

    Microsoft - competition? Shurly shome mishtake?

    On Radio 5 last night they played a clip of some big Microsoft head honcho. He said that Microsoft buying Yahoo would be good for consumers because it would increase competition (roflmfao)!

    Microsoft don't want to create competition, they want to CRUSH competition. Only in the US, with its monopoly-friendly protectionist attitudes to home-grown megacorps, could anyone see the reduction of realistic Google alternatives from two to one as a way of improving competition.

    Microsoft want to take over the whole IT world, and anything that helps slow this down has to be a good thing. Go EU!

  15. Mike Kamermans

    true acquisitions

    This is not about Microsoft buying "Yahoo", but about buying Yahoo and all the associated projects that have been bought by yahoo in the past. Flickr, del.ici.ous, Bix, MusicMatch, Zimbra, BlueLithium, DialPad, BuzzTracker and Dogg, the list goes on. Yes, yahoo! also has a search engine, an instant messenger userbase and a cute "question/answer" website to pilfer, but the major impact of the acquisition is in the vast wealth of "free" data microsoft buys with this. Flickr to contribute to the dragonfly project. Del.ici.ous, buzztracker and dogg to contribute to monitoring what's alive in the blogosphere (who invented that word? it's sickening to use). MusicMatch to boost zune, zimbra to be pilfered for outlook, dialpad and yahoo messenger for integration into microsoft's live service and competition to skype (but probably for mysterious reasons just slightly more expensive to use), blue lithium for behaviour network modeling (the xbox divisions will love the data that rolls out of that). Effectively, this is a textbook hostile takeover. Obtain the parent, ransack the children, and in a few years we can expect an silent cancellation of all the projects that have been assimilated by MS but no longer generate new data.

    Sadly, the acquisition doens't lead to a monopoly - there are still a handful of competitors left, so the "free market" mechanism that drives capitalism still applies. While morally deplorable, this is the way business works on a global scale. If the investors like the money microsoft offers enough, the deal will go through, regardless of how much the EU wants to stop it - both companies are US based, the EU has no authority in this matter.

  16. Jack


    Pretty sure before you join the campaign you will want to protest that o and apostrphe abuse gets on your wick, not your wich.

    And @Mike Kamermans, most of what you say is probably true, but the fact that they are two American companies won't stop the EU from having a say, if Microsoft wants to continue trading in the EU it will have to abide by EU trade laws, as was demonstrated with the media player debacle.

  17. Mike Hocker

    3 Search Engines to 2?

    You mean there is more than one search engine now?

    (and how come that one search engine does not have an option to "search only for manufacturers' websites" for products? I get SO tired of wading through hundreds of punters pages looking for whoever actually makes (at least nominally) some particular product).

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Kids of the black hole

    I would like to congratulate The Register for seeing sense over the whole Yahoo / exclamation mark thing, and deciding not to call this article "Euro! lawyers! see! tortuous! road! ahead! for! Microsoft's! Yahoo! bid!". That would have been too much. Thank! you!

  19. John
    Jobs Halo

    Let them have it

    Let Micros~1 waste a large chunk of their war chest buying a crap search engine I never use. That'll make two shits into one. Fine by me. Fines from the US and EU to follow by 2010.

    I can't believe that Ballmer is prepared to pay $44m to come in 2nd. LOSER.

  20. Jon
    Gates Halo

    Search in windows

    Search use to be tired to microsoft in windows (well in IE which people who would use a default search, call windows) in IE7 MS actually opened it up so typing in the address bar/search box would go to another (eg Google) where as before type an address wrong and search would instantly take you to micrsoft search which never seemed any use.

  21. Michael

    Euro lawyers see tortuous road ahead for Microsoft's Yahoo! bid

    Should read Euro lawyers see gravy train ahead working for/against Microsoft's Yahoo! bid

  22. alex
    Gates Horns

    Y o Y

    Has the world finally gone fully bi-polar syndrome skunk induced schitzophenia crazy?

    40+ billion greenbacks for some recycled news, some email not-as-good-as-gmail and a few games of pool??? Good grief

    Any company that peddles backward software with zero innovation should be investigated just for having 40 billioneys lieing around unused.

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