TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Microsoft Not Plotting Aganst Google, Ballmer Says

Microsoft Not Plotting Aganst Google, Ballmer Says

Reuters News Wire (
Fri, 28 Apr 2006 11:01:50 -0500

Microsoft not hatching plan with eBay: paper

Microsoft is not plotting against Google with eBay, Microsoft's chief
executive told a German newspaper, but he said he did often talk with
his counterpart at eBay about working together.

"Of course we talk with eBay all the time," Steve Ballmer told
Germany's Die Welt in an interview published on Friday. "But we don't
get together in a secret circle and hatch plans about what we could do
together against Google."

Google posted a 79-percent jump in revenue earlier this month as it
took a greater share of the Internet search market.

Its rapid growth has spurred eBay to consider a partnership with
Microsoft or Yahoo, the world's second-biggest Internet search engine
company, as Google takes aim against Web auction company eBay with an
online classified service.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that eBay, a major buyer of Web
search keyword advertising, is talking to Yahoo and Microsoft as well
as Google about forming an alliance.

But Ballmer said: "A tie-up with the sole aim of shutting out a
competitor makes no sense. The partnership must produce something that
is useful for users and advertisers."

He added, however, that he did regularly talk to eBay's CEO Meg
Whitman, who he said was a close personal friend.

"I've known her for 22 years, and so we talk a lot about what
Microsoft and eBay could do together," he said.

Ballmer added that he had no plans to pay for Microsoft's new version
of Windows, Vista, through advertising.

"You mean, would we finance Vista more by advertising than by selling
software? Not likely," Ballmer said. "Part of the screen would then be
covered in advertisements. I'm sure most customers would rather pay
$50 or $60 more for their PC."

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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