As reported earlier, Yahoo! and Google Japan deal combine 98% of the paid search market share in Japan. Microsoft itself said that “if Google’s permitted, it would gain nearly complete control over search and advertising in Japan (98% of search market in Japan).” But, the deal got clearence from JFTC, as Secretary General of JFTC Takahide Matsuyama announced.
Now, Microsoft’s challenging the deal; “We plan to present evidence to JFTC explaining why we believe that this deal is substantially more harmful to competition than Google’s deal with Yahoo in 2008 that the DOJ found to be illegal.”
Microsoft has a good argument to make, according to Ted Henneberry, antitrust expert and senior partner at law firm Orrick, Herrington &Sutcliffe. He told, “In most jurisdictions, this deal would raise very serious and substantial competition concerns.” He also says he’s “surprised and puzzled” Japan would approve the deal.