Google warns against Microsoft takeover of Yahoo

Google has launched an attack on Microsoft's attempt to acquire Yahoo, claiming it threatens the openness of the internet.

Google chief legal officer David Drummond said the $44.6 billion bid "raises troubling questions.'

"Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC‾" he asked in a post on the official Google blog. "Could the acquisition of Yahoo allow Microsoft - despite its legacy of serious legal and regulatory offenses - to extend unfair practices from browsers and operating systems to the internet‾"

He said the while the internet rewarded innovation, Microsoft had "frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies -- and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets."

He noted that Microsoft and Yahoo together hosted as the two most heavily-trafficked portals on the internet and enjoyed an overwhelming share of instant messaging and web email accounts.

"Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email, IM, and web-based services‾ Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions -- and consumers deserve satisfying answers."

"This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It's about preserving the underlying principles of the internet: openness and innovation."

Meanwhile, Yahoo executives are considering closer ties with Google as a means of staving off the Microsoft bid, according to a Reuters report.

Yahoo management believe the bid price is too low and are mulling a plan to use Google as the search provider for its popular portal services, the report said.