Prince Klemes Von Metternich, foreign minister of the Austrian Empire during the Napoleonic era ..., would have no trouble recognising Google.All Google needs is an overextension into the hinterlands of Microsoft to make the analogy complete.
To him, ... [Google] would closely resemble the Napoleonic France that in his youth humiliated Austria and Europe's other powers. Its rivals -- Yahoo ... eBay ... Microsoft --- would look a lot like Russia, Prussia, and Austria.
Metternich responded by forging an alliance among those three monarchies to create a "balance of power" against France. Google's enemies, he might say, ought now to do the same thing.
The alliances are already being struck. Last year Yahoo and Microsoft announced that they would connect their instant-messaging systems ... [and] "voice chat" ... In May, Yahoo! and eBay struck an alliance ...
The Economist article focuses on the first tier players -- Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, and eBay -- but I suspect the second tier might be in play too.
In particular, I think Amazon -- with its e-commerce, payment systems, clever APIs, associates advertising program, and fledging A9 web search engine -- may also be attractive for those seeking strategic alliances in the search war.
See also my previous posts, "Amazon Omakase and personalized ads", "Yahoo and eBay, Amazon and Microsoft", and "Amazon web search switches to Microsoft".