As soon as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer makes his next move, Yahoo could announce a plan to serve Google ads against Yahoo search results, the Wall Street Journal reports. Yahoo and Google tested such an arrangement in April and it went well enough that Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang believes a longer term deal will appease shareholders enough to keep Yahoo independent.
Of course, if Yang were to announce such a deal, the first thing Ballmer would do is call the Department of Justice to stir up antitrust trouble. So Google and Yahoo plan to make the deal non-exclusive, with Yahoo serving up its search results to the highest bidder — which probably be Google every time.
Combined, Yahoo and Google would make up 80 percent of the search engine market, according to ComScore. Yesterday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told CNBC a Microsoft-Yahoo merger would give the new company 80 to 90 percent control over the email and instant messaging markets and "eliminate consumer choice."