Baseline writes, "antitrust is in the air with the major Internet search players who also dominate in other technology markets."
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc's (YHOO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) attempt to form an alliance with Google Inc (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) to stave off Microsoft Corp could run into more trouble with antitrust regulators than Microsoft's unwelcome takeover bid."
"While Yahoo is seeking a business partnership with Google -- unlike the outright merger that Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) wants -- legal experts say any deal between the world's two largest Internet search services will draw heavy scrutiny from U.S. and European competition regulators."
"The Justice Department would certainly want to take a serious look at that because it would mean that a firm that would want to take advertisements or to place advertisements (online) would have only one place to go," said Aaron Edlin, who teaches law and economics at the University of California at Berkeley.
"In recent years, Web search services have taken over from once popular portals or home pages, such as AOL, MSN or Yahoo's own home page, as the primary starting point for many consumers seeking information on the Internet."
"Google held a 59.2 percent share of the U.S. Web search market in February, compared with Yahoo's 21.6 percent and Microsoft's 9.6 percent, according to research firm comScore."
More after the jump.