Advertisers Support MS-Yahoo! Deal

LOS ANGELES — The American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) has published an open letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, calling for the approval of the pending Microsoft-Yahoo! search deal, claiming that the move will enhance competition and be good for consumers.

Many online adult entertainment companies rely on search engine based advertising campaigns to drive traffic to their websites.

The deal in question would allow Yahoo! to use Microsoft's search technology — a move which has reportedly caused anti-trust concerns at DOJ, but which is supported by advertisers seeking a competitive balance to search giant Google's market dominance — which the group hopes could drive down PPC advertising costs.

Penned by AAAA President and CEO Nancy Hill and also signed by Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy; WPP CEO Martin Sorrell; Michael I. Roth, chairman and CEO of Interpublic Group of Companies; and Omnicom Group President and CEO John Wren; the note thus carries with it the direct endorsement of four of the world's top ad agencies along with that of the association itself.

"Advertising is the fuel that powers the Internet. Most websites depend on online advertising to survive — it's what allows them to offer consumers free content and services," the letter began. "A very important form of online advertising is search advertising — the sponsored links that appear when a search engine answers a query. A healthy, competitive market for search and search advertising is crucial to the Internet's future."

"We believe that Yahoo! and Microsoft's proposal to combine their technologies and search platforms is good for advertisers, marketing services agencies, website publishers and consumers," the letter concluded. "These benefits are too important to wait for. As leading members of the advertising and marketing services industry, we urge the Department of Justice to bring its antitrust review to a speedy conclusion. This proposal enhances competition, and should be allowed to take effect as soon as possible."

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