That's pretty much what Google's chief legal officer David Drummond said in a letter published on Google's Web site shortly after Microsoft's takeover bid was announced. He wrote, in part, "This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation."
The merger/takeover is certainly an interesting idea. From Microsoft's perspective, it makes absolute sense. It needs to expand its Web services in a way that works. It has faltered thus far in really connecting with Internet users through its portals. The notion isn't so positive for Yahoo, which could be swallowed by what many have termed the "Evil Empire."
There's no doubt the merger would have an effect on the Internet. But would it threaten innovation? No. First off, neither Microsoft nor Yahoo is really innovating lately. Yes, they both come out with neat new products from time to time, but all the biggest leaps forward have come from startups. Take Flickr, for example. Yahoo didn't create that. It acquired it. Flickr was one of the first Web 2.0 properties. It was the innovator, not Yahoo.
Same goes for Google. It has purchased myriad companies, such as Postini, to bolster its own technology and services.
Smaller companies will continue to innovate at the pace they always have, regardless of whether or not Microsoft buys Yahoo. Google's real objection is that it feels threatened competitively. Brin doesn't want Google's supremacy challenged in any way.