Yahoo, Google extend antitrust deadline again

Yahoo and Google extended the deadline for federal antitrust regulators to make a decision on whether to challenge its search advertising deal.

Yahoo and Google have extended their Wednesday deadline for antitrust regulators to issue a decision on whether to block the controversial search advertising deal to proceed, according to a source familiar with the talks.

And at this point, it remains to be seen whether a definitive decision to block the agreement, or allow it with remedies as part of a settlement, will occur before the Thanksgiving holiday.

"Wouldn't it be nice to get it resolved, one way or another, before Thanksgiving?" said the source.

Previously, a deadline had been set for Wednesday for antitrust regulators to make a decision on whether to challenge the deal, or allow it proceed. That revised deadline was extended from October 8, in order to give regulators additional time to review the search advertising agreement.

Under the agreement, Yahoo's search result pages would also include ads from Google's advertisers. Yahoo previously noted it expects to generate $800 million in revenue in its first year from the non-exclusive deal and that Google's ads would likely appear on its search pages that have few to no ads from Yahoo advertisers.

But advertisers have voiced their opposition to the deal , citing concerns that prices could rise and that Yahoo may one day opt to exit the search advertising business altogether. Those concerns are similar to those voiced by federal antitrust regulators, sources previously have said.

Although the companies are again extending the deadline, such a move is somewhat common when the parties are hashing over things. One source had noted that companies will often grant regulators as much time as they need to review a deal, rather than forcing their hand, if it appears their decision will be unfavorable to the companies.

 

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