This news was almost inevitable:
It was Steven A. Ballmer, the chief executive of Microsoft, and his message was curt. He did not call to negotiate. Microsoft would make public a hostile $44.6 billion offer for Yahoo early Friday morning in a bold move to counter Google’s online pre-eminence.
Mr. Yang, in shock, rushed back with the news to his directors, some of whom were getting ready to leave Yahoo’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. The board meeting was no longer over; it would turn into a strategy session that stretched into the night.
The global dominance of Google is undoubtedly a concern. The ability to control mountains of information in its own hands should constantly raise alarm bells.
The idea, however, of the internet market getting smaller is also a worry. Market consolidation, in a clear attempt to unseat Google’s reign, would only lessen transparency and result in information being “owned” by less players. Early reports suggest that regulators are unlikely to block a Yahoo/Microsoft marriage.
A monopoly of information should always be resisted and it’s hard to see this development any other way.
UPDATE: Some analysts are arguing that competition would in fact increase, not decrease, with this merger.