Google in control of, not Diller

With time running out on an advertising deal with Google, Barry Diller's is facing bigger issues than the company's painfully unmemorable advertising. The IAC-owned search engine is dependent on Google-brokered text ads for a large portion of its revenues — but Google, which now sells ads on MySpace, among others, is not nearly as dependent on Fortunately for Diller, Microsoft and Yahoo are stupidly eager to prove themselves in the search-advertising market. If Google does end its ad deal with, both companies would be happy to sign on Ask as a partner. One small problem: Neither Yahoo nor Microsoft make as much money per search as Google, which means that they have less money to split with Ask, even if they give it a more generous share. And a deal with either one would still leave Ask dependent on a rival search engine. Save for building its own advertising system, at considerable expense, Ask has no easy way out of the Google deal.