Senator wants to babysit Yahoo-Google after deal

Nicholas Carlson · 10/03/08 12:20PM

If the Justice Department does allow Google to serve ads on some of Yahoo's websites, Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl believes it should then monitor "the amount of advertising outsourced by Yahoo to Google" to make sure it doesn't increase over time. His math: "Should the amount significantly increase, we believe the threat to competition will also increase." Then, the DOJ could step in "if, over time, you determine that Google is gaining a dominant market position as a result of the Google-Yahoo agreement." Here's hoping Alaska Senator Ted Stevens will weigh in next on the need to monitor the deal's tube-clogging effects. [Reuters]

Why do text message rates keep going up?

Paul Boutin · 09/10/08 12:00PM

Text message rates have doubled since 2005, from about 10 cents each to 20 cents today. Senator Herb Kohl (D.-Wisc.), who chairs the Senate's antitrust subcommittee, has asked Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile to explain it to him. "It does not appear to be justified by rising costs in delivering text messages," the letter says. "Text-messaging files are very small, as the size of text messages are generally limited to 160 characters per message, and therefore cost carriers very little to transmit." Kohl's suspicion: The four big carriers have increased their prices nearly in sync, suggesting a collusion to wring more money out of the market rather than to compete against one another. Read the whole thing — it's no Series of Tubes. (Photo via Gizmodo)

Yang answers to lawmakers skeptical over Google deal

Nicholas Carlson · 06/19/08 11:40AM

Board members, employees, shareholders and now Congressional lawmakers wonder whether Yahoo CEO made the right call outsourcing Yahoo search ads to Google. Yang is in Washington to answer their concerns, meeting with Senator Herb Kohl (D.-Wisc.) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) yesterday. Later this week, he'll meet with Representative Joe Barton (R.-Texas), who earlier wrote a letter to Yang asking him to explain how the deal won't "have an anticompetitive impact on the online-search market, including the pricing of online-search advertising."

Senators confirm ignorance of "Goggle," or whatever it's called

Nicholas Carlson · 11/20/07 03:29PM

Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) want to make one thing very clear about Google's proposed $3.1 billion DoubleClick merger, currently under FTC review. OMFG, WTF? In a joint open letter to the Federal Trade Commission, the pair acknowledge that no, they don't understand much about the deal or its implications. But from what they've heard, the pair thinks the FTC should, you know, continue to take a good look at it. That's one way to take credit for the outcome, whoever wins.