Justice Department Harassment Kills Google-Yahoo! Deal

by on November 5, 2008 · 20 comments

OK, in fairness, this image is of the statue outside the Federal Trade Commission, not the Justice Department. But it’s always perplexed me – the image of a man restraining/abusing a horse.

The name of the statue is “Man Controlling Trade.” Why doesn’t he get on and ride?

The same thing one must ask about the Justice Department’s successful campaign to thwart the Google-Yahoo! deal. As Cord has noted, allowing these two companies to enjoy the benefits they perceived from combining their resources would have made them both better off and acted as a spur to others, competition that would have produced new innovation for consumers to enjoy. But the dead hand of government power has won out.

The Justice Department’s two-step on the grave of the deal gets it precisely wrong both in terms of defining the relevant market and in terms of the effect on competition and innovation.

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