Antitrust NewsWatch: Microsoft may share ad revenue with consumers: Perception of product 'tying' could draw regulator attention | Hearsay.com

Monday, December 12, 2005

Microsoft may share ad revenue with consumers: Perception of product 'tying' could draw regulator attention | Hearsay.com

The Wall Street Journal reported on December 12 that Microsoft may share ad revenue with consumers in the form of cash or product discounts for other Microsoft products and services. The move is a clear shot at Google, the Web's advertising leader. Bill Gates is quoted in the transcript of a speech before marketing partners in India saying 'We'll actually go to users and say instead of us keeping all that ad revenue, we'll actually share some of it back with the user. The user essentially will get paid, either money or free content or software things that they wouldn't get if they didn't use that search engine.' Microsoft needs to be particularly careful to avoid the perception of linking payments to consumers for the use of one service or product to the purchase of another, since it has global antitrust implications at a time when Microsoft needs to maintain a low profile on related issues. Related Google News