Search Engine Incest and the DeGmailing of Google

Yahoo, Google, Microsoft — yadda, yadda, yadda. Am I the only one sick of hearing a new announcement about two of the companies either merging, not merging, talking about merging, or thinking about merging every goddamned day?

In case you missed it, today Yahoo and Microsoft said their discussions are officially over. Boo freakin’ hoo. A few hours later, Yahoo landed a search ad deal with Google. This whole thing reminds me of the creepy family next door that always just seemed a little too friendly with each other.

The more interesting news today, if you ask me, was the realization that Google has officially moved out of the domain in Germany. A simple page now pops up there telling you to go to, saying: “We’d like to link the URL … but we’re not allowed to do that either. Bummer.”

Google had lost a battle to own the Gmail trademark in Germany more than a year ago. A German guy named Daniel Giersch already owned the rights to it for his — get ready — alternative snail mail service. Yes, that’s right: Google has lost the rights to Gmail in an entire country to some guy trying to compete with the post office. Media reports say Google had offered Giersch a quarter of a million dollars for the name, but he turned it down.

“I have made it clear since the beginning that I will never sell the name,” Giersch told reporters at the time. “It is my sole intention to realize my idea for a hybrid mail system. I am absolutely convinced of its success.”

“I am also absolutely delusional,” he forgot to add.