Japan watchdog asked to review Yahoo, Google deal

A Japanese online shopping company said Wednesday it has asked the country’s anti-monopoly watchdog to review a tie-up between Yahoo Japan Corp. and Google Inc.

Rakuten Inc. said the Yahoo Japan-Google partnership will hinder competition and growth in the Japanese Internet market. It asked the Fair Trade Commission to probe the deal, which was announced in July.

Yahoo Japan is aiming to launch a search service using Google’s search and advertising technology by the end of this year.

The regulator and the company declined to comment on Rakuten’s action.

Yahoo Japan has more than a 50 percent share of the Japanese Internet search services market, with Google around 40 percent, according to Japanese research firm Video Research Interactive Inc.

Google dominates the lucrative Internet search market worldwide. It generates income by charging advertisers to display links along with search results. Few companies have the technology, user base and funds required to compete in search.

Shares in Yahoo Japan dropped 3 percent to 28,610 yen ($352) on Wednesday, and Rakuten shares slipped 0.5 percent to 60,900 yen.

Associated Press