Advertising agencies call on DoJ to allow Microsoft Yahoo deal

Microsoft's proposed search engine alliance with Yahoo has won support from the heads of four of the world's biggest advertising agencies, who said the deal would "enhance competition".

Microsoft's proposed search engine alliance with Yahoo has won support from the heads of four of the world's biggest advertising agencies, who said the deal would "enhance competition".

The heads of Publicis Groupe, WPP, Interpublic and Omnicom signed a letter of support from Nancy Hill, CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, to the Department of Justice (DoJ), which is investigating the deal, the Financial Times reported.

The letter said the deal would enhance competition and asked that it be allowed to take effect as soon as possible.

When Google tried to do its own deal with Yahoo a year ago, WPP's Martin Sorrell was against it, but Maurice Levy of Publicis Groupe was for it. The deal foundered when the DoJ said it would block it under antitrust laws.

The signatories wrote, "We believe that Yahoo and Microsoft's proposal to combine their technologies and search platforms is good for advertisers, marketing services agencies, website publishers and consumers."

Microsoft and Yahoo said earlier that they hoped to finalise their partnership early next year. They have yet to seek the European Commission's approval, the FT said.

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