Google’s grandees might have been bullish over the potential implications of the company’s advertising deal with Yahoo, but it seems that the warning shots fired by Washington have finally got through to someone in Mountain View.
The deal, in which Yahoo is letting Google sell advertising on some parts of its site, was scheduled to roll out this month – but according to a report from AFP, Google has said it will be postponing its arrival while an anti-trust investigation takes place:
When we announced our advertising agreement with Yahoo! in June we agreed to delay its implementation until October to give regulators time to look at the details,” Google said in an email statement Friday.
“As we are still in conversation with the Department of Justice we have agreed to a brief delay in implementing the agreement while those discussions continue.”
Until now, Google had been pushing hard for the October launch: “Time is money in our business,” the chief executive, Eric Schmidt, said recently. That’s just the sort of thing to get up the nose of regulators. Indeed, one former senior justice department lawyer told me that it appeared “an unusual approach” to take.
Still, even if Google is taking a small step backwards (perhaps at the request of the department), the language – “a brief delay” – is hardly conciliatory.