BEIJING: Google ceo Eric Schmidt (pictured) on Tuesday claimed that the web search titan is "concerned" about Microsoft's proposed buyout of Yahoo for $44.6 billion (€28.29bn; £22.29bn).

Not, you understand, concern about dilution of Google's present dominance of web search ads, but the bid's implications for the "openness" of the web.

"We would be concerned by any kind of acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft," Schmidt told a conference in Beijing. "We would hope that anything they did would be consistent with the openness of the internet, but I doubt it would be."

Given Microsoft's anticompetitive track record and the resultant slaps from US and EU regulators, Schmidt is worried that "there are things Microsoft could do that would be bad for the internet."

Schmidt had clearly taken his cue from colleague and chief legal officer David Drummond, who laid down the Google partyline earlier this month in a company blog. 

"This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another," opined the legal eagle. "It's about preserving the underlying principles of the internet: openness and innovation."

Data sourced from BBC Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff