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La réponse de Google à l'acquisition de Yahoo par Microsoft

Je préfèrais attendre un peu pour parler de la possible acquisition de Yahoo! par Microsoft, on en parle déjà partout. Mais comme Google vient de faire une annonce officielle à ce sujet, je me devais de faire un billet !

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The openness of the Internet is what made Google — and Yahoo! — possible. A good idea that users find useful spreads quickly. Businesses can be created around the idea. Users benefit from constant innovation. It’s what makes the Internet such an exciting place.

So Microsoft’s hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It’s about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation.

Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies — and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets.

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? In addition, Microsoft plus Yahoo! equals an overwhelming share of instant messaging and web email accounts. And between them, the two companies operate the two most heavily trafficked portals on the Internet. Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors’ email, IM, and web-based services? Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions — and consumers deserve satisfying answers.

This hostile bid was announced on Friday, so there is plenty of time for these questions to be thoroughly addressed. We take Internet openness, choice and innovation seriously. They are the core of our culture. We believe that the interests of Internet users come first — and should come first — as the merits of this proposed acquisition are examined and alternatives explored.

Pour résumer, Google craint que cette acquisition permette à Microsoft d’étendre ses pratiques commerciales et sa fermeture caractéristique sur Internet, qui par définition est un espace d’ouverture et d’innovation. Google demande également que la proposition soit examinée en profondeur et que des alternatives soit explorées.

Un officiel de Microsoft, Brad Smith, s’est empressé de répondre au communiqué de Google :

The combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! will create a more competitive marketplace by establishing a compelling number two competitor for Internet search and online advertising. The alternative scenarios only lead to less competition on the Internet.

Today, Google is the dominant search engine and advertising company on the Web. Google has amassed about 75 percent of paid search revenues worldwide and its share continues to grow. According to published reports, Google currently has more than 65 percent search query share in the U.S. and more than 85 percent in Europe. Microsoft and Yahoo! on the other hand have roughly 30 percent combined in the U.S. and approximately 10 percent combined in Europe.

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.

La dernière phrase parlant d’un désir d’ouverture de la part de Microsoft peut faire sourire. Mais ce communiqué rappelle également que Google restera le numéro un de la recherche et de la publicité sur Internet malgré cette acquisition, qui permettra selon Microsoft un marché plus compétitif.

Vous en pensez quoi?

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