European Competition Commissioner: We investigate Google-Yahoo deal

By EDRi · September 24, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Google announced in June that it had struck a deal with Yahoo, so it would
sell ads on Yahoo website in return for a share of the profits. The EU
anti-competition authorities confirms that they are investigating the deal
between the two majors in the online advertising.

The major competitors claimed that this new deal gives a dominant position
for Google. This is why the agreement has also been investigated for some
months by the US Department of Justice that hired a well-known Washington
litigator to oversee the anti-trust proceedings.

Although the companies said that the deal would have effect only in Canada
and the United States, The World Association of Newspapers called for a
investigation from the EU authorities, claiming: “it would hurt Yahoo’s
ability to compete against Google in the future.”

Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for European Competition Commissioner Neelie
Kroes, confirmed the investigation :”In mid-July, we decided to open a
preliminary investigation on our own initiative into potential effects of
the Google-Yahoo agreement on competition in the European Economic Area
(EEA) market.”

Google claimed that the deal would have no effect on the EEA market, since
“the agreement is limited in scope to Yahoo’s U.S. and Canadian websites”,
while Yahoo showed his cooperation with the EU authorities stating that the
company “has been and will continue to work with the relevant regulatory
agencies to provide officials with the necessary information about this
business agreement, which we believe will strengthen competition in search
and make advertisements more relevant for our users.”

As it was the case with the Google – Doubleclick deal, it seems that both
the US and EU authorities will not investigate the privacy issues of the new
Google-Yahoo agreement, even though serious concerns have already been

EDRi-member Joris van Hoboken points out the Google blog entry related to
the Google-Yahoo deal that claims: “neither company has access to
personally identifiable user information from the other company”, giving no
explanation on what the two companies understand by “personally identifiable
information”. Since server logs are not considered by Google as personally
identifiable information, it could be possible that the present deal gives
Google access to Yahoo search data.

EU competition officials probing Google-Yahoo deal (15.09.2008)

European regulators investigate Google-Yahoo advertising deal (16.09.2008)

The Google-Yahoo Deal and the Privacy of End-Users (20.09.2008)