How Google's Anti-Microsoft Lobbying Effort Came Back To Bite Them

from the that-was-an-easy-one dept

Two years ago, as Microsoft was trying to buy Yahoo, we were really surprised to find Google making a proactive lobbying and marketing effort to scuttle the deal. As we noted at the time, it seemed pretty likely to come back to haunt Google. Indeed, Chris Thompson is now taking a look back and believes that Google’s decision to stir the pot over the Microsoft/Yahoo deal has probably been Google’s biggest blunder to date. Not only did it eventually lead to Microsoft working out a much, much better deal for itself, it directly resulted in Google getting significantly more antitrust scrutiny, both in the US and abroad. Now, some of that scrutiny likely would have come anyway eventually, but Google definitely helped call much more attention to the situation and its own market position. The whole thing made no sense. Google should have known to keep its mouth shut and watched as Microsoft and Yahoo screwed up the deal on their own.

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Companies: google, microsoft, yahoo

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Comments on “How Google's Anti-Microsoft Lobbying Effort Came Back To Bite Them”

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Ima Fish (profile) says:

Chris Thompson made so many errors in the piece that I’m surprised you’re taking it seriously.

First, Thompson buys into the myth that YouTube was a bad purchase and is unprofitable.

Second, he considers Viacom’s lawsuit to be highly meritorious, worthy of a huge settlement.

Third, he considers Google’s attempt to scan every known book to pose a threat to libraries. I can’t for the life of me understand how making the books of the world more accessible to everyone with a computer could ever be considered a bad thing.

A Dan (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Those things amount to a poor introductory article trying to make Google sound stupid. He certainly sounds biased, but those were simply the stupid introductory attention-getter background summary paragraph that everyone’s so fond of now.

I don’t think the article has much substance, but those things you listed are just the intro. It’s mostly a recap of the failed Microsoft purchase of Yahoo, and then a summary of some recent lawsuits against Google. And the article says it may come back to bite them in the future, not that it already has.

RD says:

Re: Re:

“Third, he considers Google’s attempt to scan every known book to pose a threat to libraries. I can’t for the life of me understand how making the books of the world more accessible to everyone with a computer could ever be considered a bad thing.”

Easy. By scanning these books and “producing” them, they get to slap a new copyright on them (for works OOC) and lock them up forever. For works in copyright, its up to the copyright holder to complain (so there is little deterent for google to not pursue this), which most wont either because a) obscurity is a worse result than copies, b) they wont realize its there or c) google is just too big to mess with.

ECA (profile) says:

Can I suggest?

well, lets look at something..
WHAT would happen if MS bought out and killed off OTHER search engines? Leaving only Google?
Would that be an Antitrust issue?

Google could go the Route MS has, and PAYOFF/BUYOUT other search engines, then LEAVE them up..lets them struggle on their own, THEN DIE..
GOOGLE could also setup different engines to WOrk different ways thru the other sites they bought.
Yahoo, Excite, MSN, AOL, google, and MANY more…could all be joined at the top, or bought and LEFT alone.

Scott Cleland (profile) says:

Google's biggest mistake

My vote for Google’s biggest mistake ever was seeking a partnership with the NSA on cybersecurity that was outed on the front page of the Washington Post. Not only is this alliance totally at odds with what Google has always represented to everyone publicly, this puts the 53% of their business that is international at risk. Now foreign goverments are not just worried about Google’s bad privacy record, they now have to worry if its just an front/effort to collect information for American spy agencies. see:
Scott Cleland publisher of

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