Google and Yahoo won’t be consummating their ad outsourcing deal just yet.
In statements issued late on Friday, the Web giants said they would postpone the agreement to give the Justice Department time to continue its probe.
Both companies said they would accept a “brief delay” in implementing the outsourcing contract, originally scheduled for early October. However they did not indicate just how long they’d be willing to defer.
“We have had discussions with regulators and look forward to responding to their questions about this agreement,” Yahoo said in its statement.
Google’s declaration was similar: “As we are still in conversation with the Department of Justice, we have agreed to a brief delay in implementing the agreement while those discussions continue,” it said.
Their announcements came on the same day the chairman of the Senate Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee asked the Department of Justice to continue its inspection of the partnership. It also comes amid reports the Canada’s Department of Justice has retained a high-profile regulator to conduct its own investigation.
Critics of the deal fear it will lead to higher prices for paid search advertising, while Google-Yahoo contend the arrangement will enable Yahoo to deliver more relevant ads.
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