Well it didn’t take long for the gloves to come off. Earlier this week, Yahoo Japan made the switch to using Google powered results. It was unclear at the time whether or not Microsoft would be able to make any moves on the change, as they only own a minority stake in the company.
Fast forward a little, and Microsoft has indeed made inroads to stopping the pair for joining up. They cited that, at present Google comprises 51% of paid search returns in Japan, while Yahoo Japan accounts for another 47%. So if the two were to join up, Microsoft contends that Google will have complete dominance over the paid search industry in Japan. This agreement also would lead Google to taking over the organic results as well. Googles information gains would go through the roof in Japan. Every person, business and government agencies search history would be at their analytical fingertips.
They boil it down, and compare the current partnership, to the one in 2008 which the Department of Justice blocked, citing a monopoly. One of the bigger differences in the current case at hand, is apparently Google already has Japans Federal Trade Commission blessing, and has had it for some time. The next few weeks in Japans paid and unpaid search industry will be a doozy.