An acquisition is announced and folks flock to the obvious: The price. The synergistic savings. The days until the deal closes.

But deals come at costs that are often not clear at first. Will the merger become a conflict of interest? What are the ramifications? When Pepsi (NYSE:PEP) owned the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains, how was it to win over fountain drink rights at independently-owned chains that were signed up with Coke (NYSE:KO)?

Yes, Pepsi eventually spun off its restaurants as Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) to help blur the connection, but the damage had been done. So no one should have been surprised when CBS Marketwatch reported that Terra Lycos (NASDAQ:TRLY) was breaking off its contextual advertising deal with Overture. Now that Overture is officially property of Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), how would it benefit Terra Lycos to make its largest rival wealthier?

While Terra Lycos had penned the deal with Overture after Yahoo! announced its acquisitive intent, apparently the magnitude of the conflict didn't sink in at the time. We don't know the details of the rift, but one would be silly not to read between the lines.

Yahoo! knew what it was getting into when it bought Overture. It did so mostly to secure its own stream of sponsored search revenue on its own network. Anything else would be gravy.

Vertical integration is often applauded as a way for companies to trim overhead, but a company can't just buy out customers or suppliers without realizing that it often changes the whole landscape. Hopefully, Yahoo! thought this one through.