|By Maureen O'Gara||
|September 30, 2008 05:00 PM EDT||
Canadian antitrust regulators have now gone the same path as the US Justice Department and reached out and hired an outside litigator, David Kent, a Toronto antitrust expert, to look into the Google-Yahoo deal.
The news comes from the Wall Street Journal, which got it from “lawyers close to the matter.”
The paper couldn’t get Canadian officials to comment.
The Journal thinks that the DOJ will decide whether it’s going to try to block the deal early in October.
The DOJ hired veteran litigator Sandy Litvack a few weeks ago to put a case together.
Meanwhile, Yahoo – which may be looking into its crystal ball and divining an antitrust rout – has hired Bain & Company to explore “ways to streamline our processes and bring new agility and efficiency to how we work as an organization” – which what’s left of the smart money reads as layoffs.
Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang told his folks in an e-mail that the company needs “more discipline…getting fit now will enable us to be more successful moving forward.”
Stanford Bernstein analyst Jeff Lindsay thinks a “few thousand” could be let go. He says advertisers have already stopped buying ads directly from Yahoo for some of its most prominent sites like Yahoo Financial and Yahoo has ~4,000 sales reps.
US advertising spending was also down 3.7% last quarter, the worst drop in seven years, according to Bloomberg. Spending on Internet display ads was up only 8% in the first half, down from 18% year-over-year.
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