Microsoft + Yahoo = (Google) * (Google)

Do two losers make a winner? Analysts and basically anyone with a keyboard seem to agree that the timing for this acquisition couldn't be better, and the deal is expected to go through unless a surprise third-party pops up to intervene with a competitive bid.

Wonderful as Google is, the world and the entire Internet and media industry needs for its power to be countered and, if possible, matched. Without genuine competition everybody loses. That's what drives innovation. Even Google may benefit because if its share of search and online traffic grew much larger regulators would almost certainly begin to find ways of restraining it.

Today we've seen the beginnings of a bi-polar Internet, one that will influence and rearrange the competitive alliances and strategy of just about every company that aspires to a digital future.
But I have few questions in my mind which remain unanswered:

How long will an integration take?
How well will the integration go ? MS is a Web 1.0 company compared to Yahoo (huge cultural differences)
How much time will that give Google to widen its lead?
Which one will surive : Hotmail, Outlook, Zimbra or Yahoo Mail ?

But the bigger question is :
Will Google make a bid as well ?
If Google win the deal it will have destination properties beyond YouTube.
Google will get content.
Google will get newspaper partnerships.
Google will get more users.
Google will dominate display advertising with DoubleClick and Yahoo in the fold.
Google everywhere ...
But watch out: the Antitrust may ruin their dreams.

< Extract and mixed from various articles online >