I guess everyone by now would be aware about the $45 billion takeover bid that Microsoft has placed for Yahoo . Reacting to this, search giant Google has come out openly against Microsoft, and has termed the deal as a threat to the openness of the Internet.
According to Google’s Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, the bid raises ‘troubling questions’ in context to the preservation of openness and innovation. Further, he went on to say that MS has frequently tried to ‘establish proprietary monopolies’ and inquired whether it is an ‘attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it (MS) did with the PC?’
He also raised questions about the acquisition that would allow MS ‘to extend unfair practices from browsers and operating systems to the Internet’. This was accompanied with a mention of ‘legacy of serious legal and regulatory offenses’ by MS.
He discussed the consequences of the possible acquisition, briefly stating that the companies together enjoy a fairly decent share of instant messaging and e-mail accounts as well as heavy traffic on their portals on the Internet. He fears that the combination of the two (Yahoo and MS) could head towards monopoly. This, he felt, would unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access services provided by competitors.
I am sorry, please come again? Towards monopoly is what I heard? Let me try to rephrase whatever has been said through the medium of a blog (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/02/yahoo-and-future-of-internet.html) or rather, this is my interpretation. .
Look Mr.Gates, we acquired Deja News (what is now known as Google Groups), Blogger, Picasa, Keyhole, Zipdash, Urchin, Dodgeball, Android Inc., JotSpot, YouTube, Tonic, Panoramia, FeedBurner, Jaiku and many more. Plus there are many more to come. We even bought a five percent stake in AOL. The acquisitions I just mentioned are a handful of them. There are many others which you can read about on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Google_acquisitions). Yes, we may acquire Wikipedia as well.
What we mean is that acquisitions and all things like these is what we do. This is how we grow. You are just trying to copy our strategy and this is not fair. “We take Internet openness, choice and innovation seriously. They are the core of our culture.”
In simpler words, ‘innovation’ (and not merely copying your competitor’s strategies) is the key to growth. Come up with something innovative. How dare you bid for Yahoo? This is our ‘choice’ and we have offered help to Yahoo (This with reference to what Wall Street Journal reported. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has called on Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang to offer his company’s help in an effort to thwart Microsoft’s bid.)
Who knows we may have placed a bid for it in near future and you just did this before we could do. Now that you have done this, we would ‘openly’ stand against you (remember ‘openness’ is the third attribute of what forms the core of our culture).
World domination is our vision and we just can’t tolerate all this acquisition business from your side.
A great man once said that when you point your finger towards someone, remember
that three are pointing back at you.
(image by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mojodenbowsphotostudio/189178723/)