Not So Fast, Google. U.S. Gov’t Hires Specialist to Investigate Yahoo Deal

googleyahoo09.09.08.pngIn June, Yahoo struck a deal with search giant Google to help it avoid a Microsoft takeover. That partnership might be in trouble before it even begins.

According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, the United States Justice Department has retained the services of former Walt Disney Co. vice chairman Sanford Litvack, a lawyer who specializes in antitrust suits, to investigate the deal.

Analysts agree that the hiring of the attorney was a strong indication that the U.S. government is planning to challenge the deal in court.

Google said it voluntarily delayed closing the deal with the Sunnyvale California company so the Justice Department could have time to investigate the deal.

Litvack resigned as a partner from Hogan & Hartson LLP last week.

Previously, the Justice Department hired special counselors during its successful battle against Microsoft and to investigate WorldCom Inc.’s proposed buyout of Sprint Corp. that was eventually scuttled.