Yesterday, most of us were watching one long commercial interrupted by snippets of football. Not the GC of Microsoft, Brad Smith, or the CLO of Google, David Drummond, however.
Clearly deeply involved in the hostile offer for Yahoo, Mr. Smith struck first yesterday with a press release, noting that a Microsoft-Yahoo merger would be a welcome competitor to Google in paid advertising and search, and offer additional benefits:
Microsoft is committed to openness, innovation, and the protection of privacy on the Internet. We believe that the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! will advance these goals.
Not to let that comment just hang there in the ether unchallenged, Mr. Drummond followed up shortly with this posting in the Google corporate 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?
Later in the day, according to press reports, Google CEO Eric Schmidt “reached out” to Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and offered to “help.”
A deal of this size is good for a flagging legal economy, at the very least.
Let the real games begin…