Meanwhile, it's worth keeping in mind that even before we had an antitrust chief that was into antitrust enforcement, Google (which owns 65% of the web search market share) promised to challenge any Microsoft/Yahoo! merger on antitrust grounds. (Mainly, it seems, because of instant messaging software. Cuz that's what really makes the Internet go.) A search deal is obviously less comprehensive than an outright merger, but no word yet out of Mountain View on whether they'll mount a challenge. "We suspect we'll see some opposition from the competitor," says Ballmer, showing his own competitor's heart by not mentioning the competitor's name.
How did Microsoft finally make it happen? The hard-sell skills of Steve Ballmer, of course. Let's go back into the vault for a little sample: