Competitor-focused strategies fail, while customer-focused ones win. This comes to mind in thinking about a possible deal to take search advertising market share from Google (GOOG). It's now well known that Microsoft (MSFT) and News Corp. (NWS) are discussing teaming up in an effort to take out a rival (the competitor-focused strategy), whereas Google is on the side of creating competitively superior value for consumers and the advertisers seeking to reach them (the customer-focused strategy).
Google's approach is better because customers are the ones who are paying, and while Microsoft and News Corp. are busy trying to take a piece out of Google's hide -- with Microsoft paying News Corp. to remove its links from Google and put them on Bing -- their struggles to partner will distract them from serving customers. And that could give Google a chance to take search traffic away from Bing.