That's some strong language there Dr. Drummond.
While I am in favour of openness on the internet, I am also against protectionist measures (like enforced competition). I like the idea that if a company has the resources, they can buy another company. It is an idea that promotes liberty. Of course, in a situation like this it appears that openness may be at risk because of the duopoly that will (effectively) be created here. So, what has more weight? Liberty for the corporation, or openness and competition on the internet?
On this one, I'd be in favour of the openness and competition. The 3rd large player in this space does promote more competition, as well as another set of "standards" - IM protocols, interfaces/APIs for services, etc. I also like uk.finance.yahoo.com's streaming stock price service, and it would be a shame if that went the way of the Dodo.
I also don't agree with Microsoft's historical handling of anti-trust situations, and I see that this will happen again in the future. They seem to be a more litigious organisation than an innovative one, and purchasing the competition only stifles innovation. Buying complimentary services can help growth, but competing services? No way.
I think in the long term this deal would be a bad one for the (concept of the) internet. But the offer price is very compelling. Who knows what will happen...