Following earlier reports that Google and Yahoo! were under fire from European Union Antitrust regulators, the company has said it will go ahead with the planned advertising deal, which will allegedly make Yahoo! between $250 million and $450 million in the first year.
When initial concerns were raised by the U.S. Department of Justice, Google delayed the deal by three months to give the government time to conduct its inquiry. Google CEO Eric Schmidt said Wednesday that the deal was designed in such a way to meet government standards and that the two companies had spent a significant amount of time drawing up the agreement.
Early this week news emerged that, following the U.S. investigation, EU regulators could be looking to start their own formal inquiry. Google responded to these reports by stating that while the company was working with both sides of the Atlantic, the deal was only going to affect Yahoo!’s North American and Canadian websites, having minimal effect on Europeans.
Schmidt told reporters Wednesday that not only does Google feel it doesn’t need government approval for the deal, but that it will go ahead with the partnership in October as planned. The company also believes that a lot of the drama surrounding the antitrust investigation stems from Microsoft, which is apparently “busy helping everyone get upset about these things.”
Microsoft is more than likely apprehensive about the idea because a deal between Yahoo! and Google would leave Microsoft and Windows Live Search out in the cold. Another more fun theory is that Microsoft is bitter about the company’s own EU antitrust issues from the past and just wants to get someone else in trouble. More fun, but less likely.