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Though the European Commission last week told me Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) hadn’t flagged its Google (NSDQ: GOOG) search partnership to its antitrust authority, when I asked Yahoo whether it would do so, I got no answer. Now Yahoo tells Computerworld it has notified the EC “out of a ‘spirit of cooperation’ as well as to educate the regulatory body about the agreement”.
Whilst the deal, under which Google would supply ads on some Yahoo search pages, applies only in the US and Canada, some UK agencies last month voiced concern, and the EC spokesperson pointed me to guidelines that state its “rules apply to all mergers no matter where in the world the merging companies have their registered office, headquarters, activities or production facilities”. After all, the EC has fined Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) repeatedly.
In theory, that could leave the door open for the commission to review the tie-up’s implications over here. The EC defines a “merger” as companies “combining forces” and seeks to act against reductions in choice and innovation, and against the possibility of companies combining to hike prices. Yahoo said on June 12 it is