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LA Times: Fight over Yahoo would limit online choices

After jockeying for the company is over, analysts say, the five largest Web portals are virtually certain to shrink to four -- maybe three.

The increased jockeying for Yahoo Inc. complicates the Web portal's takeover fight with Microsoft Corp. But it also simplifies the bigger picture: The five largest draws for the Internet audience are now virtually certain to shrink to four -- maybe even three.

The latest sign of the Web industry's maturation, Microsoft's unsolicited bid for Yahoo, is likely to result in less choice for advertisers and reduce competition for e-mail, Web search and other online services, analysts and consumer advocates said Thursday.

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