This competition angle is absurd.
Google is winning Yahoo users over because of great results, so the solution is to sabotage the results?
Yahoo would destroy themselves for what purpose?
They want to diversify out of search, that doesn't mean that they want to lose it all. I think that the Google News service will be a sticking point. It could also be a warning shot to Yahoo. Don't doubt it being taken down or modified to push Yahoo stuff if they close a deal. However, Google is letting Yahoo know that they'll bury them if they leave.
This Yahoo switch to Fast plan, are you all hitting the crack pipe? They helped Google jumpstart in the SE game, so Yahoo will pull the plug AFTER the damage is done? Okay, close the barn door after the horse left... whatever, people do dumb things. But there is another horse in the barn over, why open that door?
Switch to Fast, build up Lycos/Alltheweb, as they get credibility. Lycos could streamline their site and position it as the faster Yahoo... no, Fast is WAY too dangerous.
Inktomi is a very real possibility, but its going to be Google or Ink. We'll see where that goes.
My personal theory is that some people at Yahoo and Google HAVE to realize that there is some symbiosis. Google needs access to the Yahoo Directory, as ODP has enough problems that they need a second directory source (with different problems). Yahoo using Google PR helps their directory results immeasurably.
Sure a Yahoo/Ink deal on back fill may make sense, but I would think that Yahoo and Google would at least want to maintain some sort of agreement, no?