Google and Yahoo have postponed the implementation of their internet search advertising partnership to give US antitrust regulators more time to review the deal.
The companies had previously expected to start the partnership, which will allow Google to run ads with Yahoo’s search results, in October. The deal has been widely seen as an effort by Yahoo to resist its acquisition by Microsoft.
The alliance has been facing opposition from competitors, consumer advocates, and customers, who believe it will give Google excess control over advertising and information on the web. According to research firm comScore, in August Google’s web-search market share in the US was 63%, Yahoo’s 19.6%, and Microsoft’s 8.3%.
Google said: When we announced our advertising agreement with Yahoo in June we agreed to delay its implementation until October to give regulators time to look at the details. As we are still in conversation with the Department of Justice we have agreed to a brief delay in implementing the agreement while those discussions continue.
The DoJ review is expected to conclude before the end of the month.
Microsoft launched a takeover bid for ailing search giant Yahoo in February 2008 with an unsolicited bid of $44.6bn, a 62% premium above the closing price of Yahoo common stock of $19.18 on January 31, 2008. After three months of wrangling, Microsoft withdrew its offer in early May 2008.
Talks continued throughout the summer of 2008, with Yahoo rejecting a further offer from Microsoft with billionaire businessman Carl Icahn that would have seen a massive shakeup in the Yahoo boardroom.