As federal regulators gear up to examine whether the new Yahoo-Google ad deal creates an illegal monopoly in the search ad market, embattled Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang toured Washington yesterday, hoping to butter up the relevant congressmen. And number one on the list was Herb Kohl, the chair of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee. Google and Yahoo have already agreed to suspend its new ad arrangement for more than three months, while the Justice Department determines whether the multi-million-dollar deal will enable Google to unshakably dominate the search ad market. As CNet notes, Google now accounts for more than 68 percent of all online searches conducted in the United States, and the two companies are clearly worried that such power could finally draw in the feds.
Meanwhile, Yang's company continues to bleed talent, as both investors and employees worry whether even this deal will save Yahoo from disaster. According to Wired, Flickr founders Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield are the latest to split, bailing on the company three years after selling the photo-sharing web site for as much as $35 million. The two round out a spate of high-profile departures, including executive vice presidents Jeff Weiner and Usama Fayyad. Analysts had worried about a new brain drain if Microsoft bought Yahoo, but now it looks like not even the Google partnership will come the company's best men and women around.