back to article FTC and DoJ will fight for the right to rule on YaMicrohoosoft!

Would YaMicrohoosoft! hamper market competition? If Jerry Yang finally agrees to be swallowed by Steve Ballmer, that's a question for regulators in the US as well as the EU. But first, another question needs answering: Which US regulator will review the acquisition: the Department of Justice (DoJ) or the Federal Trade Commission …


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  1. Herby

    What happens to The Register's Yahoo! headlines?

    More importantly, will Steve Ballmer's picture have a big exclamation mark right in the middle of it (in addition the devil horns and halo). There is already the warning mark in a triangle.

    Do I get carbon credits for this??

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Typical Microsoft

    They tried to compete and failed, they even made the default web page on the majority of pc's their search engine and still failed, so last resort is to buy the market.


    If they instead tried to realise that they are failing on nearly all levels, because they don't care about the software anymore, they might get somewhere, being a software company and all.

    I feel sorry for Yahoo!, who could turn down such an offer, yet what will Yahoo! turn out to be if it is approved?

  3. Ludwig Werner


    If... then YaRehoogister with boots on, that's what!

    Will I want you that way?

    Lemme see: per'aps yes, operaps not.


    Hah, look in my cranium!.


  4. Nathanael Bastone

    :(New! :(Proposed! :(Headline! :(Format! :(Announced!

    Because once I hear the name Microooooosoft!, No news will be good news!

  5. James McGregor
    Dead Vulture

    @ Sir

    Good night out on the town, was it? :)

  6. Martin Owens

    Microsoft! dies! in! market! crash!

    Well one can dream.

  7. Svein Skogen

    Maybe not Yahoo search technology

    A little while ago, Microsoft bough the Norwegian search tech developer "Fast". Fast has brilliant search software, but lacks the sheer volume of operations like "Live Search", "Yahoo" or even Google.

    However, if you add Fast's search software, to the combined volume of Livesearch and Yahoo, we're starting to talk about a search engine that in quality could rival Google (or atleast give it some competition). This is the ticket to getting more ad traffic, since users has a tendency to choose search engine over quality, and not provider. Since MS has the option of profiling users from their search queries, they have a market for "targeted ads". What remains to be seen, is if they do with the small, acceptable, text-only ads, or if they allow flash-ads-with-sound (such as those who have started to infect the messenger. Which is why I'm considering replacements for it).

    Yahoo's main problem lately, has been that their company has had leadership that hasn't had a clear direction. They've tried (like Microsoft) to be involved in all kinds of online businesses, but unlike Microsoft they haven't had the economic stamina to "try hard enough", and that has left them "halfway into" a lot of markets, with a rather hopeless image.

    Microsoft has the economic stamina to be a scary opponent in any business. Their problem, is that their rather shady business practise has left a stigma. Convicted monopolist. Convicted software thief (remember STAC, anyone?) ISO Standards bribery (ooxml, in Sweden).

    These stigmas affect knowledge-workers. Quite a few of these would rather work for free (with OpenSource products), than work for money creating anything that works with Microsofts products. These stigmas affect software companies, who know that unless they are REALLY large, any dealing with Microsoft is likely to end in their takeover or destruction. These stigmas affect governments, who are now slowly making law that forces open standards in all public documents.

    Yahoo and Microsoft are, as they admint themselves, two companies with a lot in common. Both are trying hard to be "Jack of all Trades". Both can rightfully be labelled as "Ace of NO trade".

    Now, what bothers me about this, is peoples unwillingness to read licenses. Take a yahoo service like flickr. People upload their photos there for a public gallery. How many would notice, if Microsoft changed the terms of service so that all pictures uploaded to the "Microsoft LIVE flickr service" would automatically be granted a license to Microsoft to use AND SELL (thus: Microsoft could SELL your picture and you wouldn't see any money)? Given Microsofts track record of shrinkwrap licenses, making such a change would NOT surprise me.

    So, I guess it all comes down to this: Can we trust Yahoo? Can we trust Microsoft? Can we trust MicroBoHoo? If any of these answers are "NO", then it's time to cease using their services. Permanently.


  8. Tawakalna
    Gates Horns

    oh.. more than one 's'

    ...Windows *s*crap... funny how it sounds better if you don't make that distinction! it's something I say about a dozen times a day....

  9. Anthony Rasat
    Gates Horns

    Name of the next Windows Server

    The name of the next Windows Server would be Vista! Advanced Online Spam Server!

  10. Dan

    Microsoft! merger! confuses! Reg! hacks!

    Just throw random! bangs around in any article! that mentions Microsoft! or the old Yahoo!

  11. Steven Walker

    What happens to The Register's Yahoo! headlines?

    ¡Like the world of Microsoft they will all be upside down¡¡¡

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About FAST technologies...

    Yahoo bought some of FAST too, via Overture

  13. Edward Lilley

    Exclamation! mark! recursion! error! all! Reg! headlines! affected!

    We're all doomed!

  14. b shubin

    Errant punctuation

    you'll have to `use different marks in random~ places in articles related; /to the New.Improved!YahMiSoft...and insist that: it's an! innovative (feature) of @your writing, and, the, way, {all-periodicals will be *composed* in the future}.

  15. Harry

    Brand preservation

    I predict Microsoft will preserve the Yahoo! brand by keeping part of the name in the merged product:


  16. spiff

    microhoo?! yahsoft?!

    microwho? yoursoft?

    it's teh funz0rz!

    either way, it's the best thing that could happen to microsoft.........spending the very last of its cash on a business that was great, a long long time ago. end of.



  17. John Sanders

    Microsoft is like Sylar

    Microsoft is to the IT industry what Sylar is to heroes...

    They talk nice to companies just to rip their heads off and learn what makes them tick, so they can be "special".

    I know how Microhoo will be, it will be without my email account and without my pictures.

    Microsoft can not be stopped... sadly.

  18. el_zorro
    Gates Horns

    chair tossing and monkey dancing...

    The only clear winners if this deal gets green lighted are the analysts, lawyers, investment bankers and inevitable legions of executive consultants tasked with the doomed mission of making the thing fly.

    Ballmer should stick to chair tossing and monkey dancing...

  19. Ron

    Microyasofthoo‽ Interrobang‽ Replaces‽ Yahoo‽ Bang‽

    Subject: Microyasofthoo‽ Interrobang‽ Replaces‽ Yahoo‽ Bang‽

    The interrobang is perfectly suited for this, isn't it‽ But not everybody's character set will have that glyph.

    Google is Microsoft's Moby Dick. Can't they do a couple things well (Windows and Office) and leave everything else alone? Do they really want to become a megaconglomerate like Time-Warner, do everything and do it all poorly, and collapse under their own weight? We all know Windows and Office won't last forever, but they're the only things Microsoft has ever made money on.

    Yes yes, their entertainment and mobile divisions make decent products (the XBoxen and Windows Mobile) and those divisions are finally in the black. But they need many more years to simply break even and pay back all the money they blew starting up. It's a shame the DoJ didn't get to break them up-- it would have been the best thing for their successful divisions.

    A purchase of Yahoo by Microsoft will kill both of them more quickly than they would have died apart. Unscrupulous companies' reputations don't change overnight and the negatives in any merger commutate more easily than do the positives.

    An example is Verizon's purchase of MCI nee Worldcom nee MCI. Verizon is a relatively ethical company that has been struggling after voluntarily swallowing the malignant tumor of MCI. I don't think Verizon will die, but their mistake was in examining the balance sheets and drooling over the contractually guaranteed revenue without vetting the ethics of MCI's directors and upper management, let alone the grunts.

  20. Charles Manning

    Microsoft death

    ... well its probably a bit premature to announce MS's death, but it is interesting to see how often they have tried to diversify and have failed to do so.

    MS only make any real money out of OS and Office. All the other biz either lose money or just break even and do not even pay for the free sodas on MS campus.

    MS has tries services many times (by buying Hotmail etc), but these get stifled. A purchased Yahoo is hardly likely to improve things in the long term because Yahoo is already on a downward spiral (being matched or superceded on a service-by-service basis by Google).

    Google is already around 70% of searches and growing, yahoo + MS together are only a third of that and shrinking. In many business areas it makes sense for the second and third players to gang together to take on number one. Search is different because it all comes down to links and revenue. Together, MS and Yahoo are not any stronger than if they are apart.

    If I was a MS shareholder I would have been annoyed when MS threw away money doing Zune and Vista. But Vista only cost 5bn to develop. I'd be 9x more annoyed if MS threw 45bn into Yahoo which is obviously half-way down the gurgler already.

    One way to measure impact on society is to observe the use of proprietary terms as common verbs/nouns. "to google" has become a common verb like hoovering. The only positive MS term that comes close is powerpoint . There seem no shortage of negative terms line "you've been Zuned" and the old favourites: BSOD and RROD).

    Even Bill Gates acknowledges that Office products and OS are not sustainable in his "visions of the future" speaches. MS needs to break out and diversify to stay alive. They've tried many times and show that they just can't do it. MS is doing nothing to make Bill Gates' visions real, but the competition is.

    MS has huge momentum and, like the yank tank it has become, will continue to roll forward even when it runs out of gas. But momentum is not enough to continue for very long. I predict MS collapses within 10 years.

  21. Shannon Jacobs
    Dead Vulture

    Should be called MicroYahoo!

    At least that's how it feels to me. Now contemplating how to terminate all relationships with and use of Yahoo. I don't deal with Microsoft unless I am forced into it.

    Or perhaps I should just promise never to deal with any company that runs a memorable ad on Yahoo/Microsoft. Might not sound like much, but when I'm annoyed at a company, I am seriously annoyed. I don't think I've done any business with any recognizable part of Exxon/Mobile in over 25 years. Long story, actually, but probably totals up to a good bit of lost business by now...

  22. Anonymous Coward

    What the hell?

    Somebody made an interrobang and it's in the standard character sets now‽ Why wasn't I informed‽

  23. Erik Aamot

    A lot more that search and online ads ...

    ummm ... AT&T (SBC) internet / DSL accounts are Yahoo! portal by default ... mailservers .. most people like thier yahoo pages for thier up-to-10 account names .. most like the free website and/or 150MB image gallery, other free features too ...

    How much interest does Yahoo! have in AT&T network capacity, how much interest does each have in each others data centers ?

    much bigger issues with M$ buying Yahoo than search or online advertising ... Yahoo has long term contracts with one of the largest ISPs, network owners and Telcos in the world .. as a regulator I'd be looking more at what that really means, than what kind of search and ad revenues' loss Yahoo will incur if M$ starts changing it to an M$ brand

  24. Erik Aamot

    Verizon did well by MCI

    you must be kidding ... Verizon got SO much network from MCI CHEAP, it's unreal ... I'm AT&T local phone and DSL ... great stuff , but AT&T cum Cingular cum SBC cum ATT cell phone network blows chunks, at least on west coast US .. Verizon mobile has never let me down in 4 years

    Verizon here took over GT&E phone service areas ... I understand from friends that until Verizon picked up MCI , the phone services and particularly the internet/DSL was poor quality and high priced .. now they are putting fiber direct into homes and business in some areas of Southern California .. well ahead of AT&T plans locally

    bottom line , MCI network was alot of the US backbone and Verizon is making the $$$$$$$$$ from everyone using it now .. including AT&T, Yahoo, M$ and Google ... most of the "dark" fiber being sold is former MCI overbuilt capacity

  25. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @Svein Skogen

    "What remains to be seen, is if they do with the small, acceptable, text-only ads, or if they allow flash-ads-with-sound (such as those who have started to infect the messenger. Which is why I'm considering replacements for it)."

    MSN Messenger still has ads on it? (

    The Internet still has ads on it? (Firefox, AdBlock, Adblock Filterset.G updater)

  26. tardigrade
    Black Helicopters

    Nero's fiddling while Rome is burning.

    Going waaayyy out on a limb here.

    Micropimp have released the naffest version of Winhoes ever in the form of Vista. The man who started it all has collected his pipe and slippers and the chair wielding one is now at the helm throwing vast amounts of money at ailing companies.

    No Empire lasts forever. Is this the begining of the end?

    Google will need to release a desktop OS of course, that they will have been working on in secret for the last 3 years. Then as Steve Jobs might say, "Boom", it's endgame.

    Out goes one monopolistic behemoth in comes another. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Before you ask yes I have been eating the strong cheese again.

  27. DZ-Jay

    New! Headline! Format!

    I propose that the new headline format be the same as the old headline format. However, I further propose that the resulting merged company be addressed as "Mycrohooft"


  28. heystoopid

    Reason Number

    Reason number 10,001 to switch to Linux !

  29. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Who cares?

    I don't use Microsoft's search engine, I won't use it as I know it'll be rubbish. Even if it isn't rubbish I won't use it as it's Microsoft.

    Yahoo's services are largely rubbish too, I don't see what Microsoft intends to gian by buying another 3rd rate service.

  30. regadpellagru

    Synergies between both

    The are synergies between yahoo mail and Exchange 2007: they share the "slow as hell" feature, thus this move probably makes sense !

    After that, surely google will get closer and closer to Ubuntu, and win the remote/local desktop war. Maybe ...

    "And then there's the bigger question: If Microsoft acquires Yahoo!, what happens to The Register's Yahoo! headlines? ®"

    This one's easy forecast: El Reg will make yet another of those titles after the merge, get sued by Kro, after some furnitures in Redmond get Balmered, and will loose. That'll be the end of this.

  31. Schultz

    Best of MS ‽

    was neither operating systems nor office, but milking the monopoly of their cleverly imposed standards for all they were worth.

    With the introduction of open standards, people may be weaned off the SOFT bosom that MICRO fed them all those years. Adolescent users, searching beyond the trusted confines of certified domains -- high time to bring in Yahoo! Desktop! One-Click (t) Search! Buy! Install! (No need to risk outside aids in the Guaranteed Virus-Free(c) gates community.

    -- just pulled it out of Ludwig's cranium, I swear

  32. Risky
    Paris Hilton

    Scary Image

    "If Jerry Yang finally agrees to be swallowed by Steve Ballmer......"

    I'm not sure what it's go to do with the regulators but surely his wife should be the one to OK this?

    Paris, Obviously. Perhaps she can hand me my coat.....

  33. Morely Dotes

    @ Giles Jones

    "Yahoo's services are largely rubbish too, I don't see what Microsoft intends to gian by buying another 3rd rate service."

    They intend to gain control of a large number of Internet users who have already been involuntarily moved to Yahoo's online portal and mail servers by AT&T.

    Unless net neutrality is forced by law, Microsoft would then have the *legal* ability to prevent their captive audience from ever seeing Google.

    And that might be just enough leverage for Microsoft to firmly establish the monopoly they so strongly desire - total control of the "customer experience" (read: Microsoft decides what you can see, and what you can't) on the Internet.

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