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Public Interest Groups Give Justice Advice on Microsoft/Yahoo Deal Review

A quartet of public interest groups has given the Justice Department some advice on what to look for in its review of a proposed 10-year search/ad deal between Microsoft and

In a letter to Christine Varney, assistant attorney general in the antitrust division, the groups say that among the questions it should be asking are: Is the deal a precursor to Microsoft absorbing Yahoo's ad holdings; will they be able to disadvantage competitors given the combination of their data collection and ad targeting capabilities; how will it affect the Yahoo! Newspaper Consortium, which Yahoo! describes as "a strategic partnership with more than 150 daily U.S. newspapers to deliver search, graphical and classified advertising to consumers in the communities where they live and work."

The groups, comprising the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Watchdog, and USPIRG, also want Justice to look at the combo's affect on other online
publishers and the mobile ad market, and to work in tandem with the Federal Trade Commission to address consumer privacy issues.