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MS Denies Sound View Sound Bite
Brett_Tabke




msg:807067
 12:07 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

MS denies everything in another nice article by Brian Morrissey:

[internetnews.com...]

"Microsoft and MSN are completely committed to our relationship with Overture," said Bob Visse, director of marketing for MSN. "We have no intention of developing our own paid-search platform."

Visse said the company continued to invest in search, but apart from the paid-listings area.

From earlier in the day:
[webmasterworld.com...]

 

rfgdxm1




msg:807068
 1:22 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'll start here with a follow-up to a point made my WebGuerrilla in the Google forum to a post I made:

>MS will acquire someone. That is just the way they do things. If Google doesn't consider taking a good offer, they will end up having to fight for marketshare against a giant that has both an unlimited supply of cash and control over a dominant portion of web users.

Right. It is very clear that MS has decided they want to get into Internet search in a big way. This means they need the knowledge and expertise that can only come from buying out someone who has it. Compared to MS, Google is an insignificant ant. Clearly, the owners of Google would be fools to turn down a big money offer from MS. The open question is whether MS will try that route, or instead buy up another search engine to challenge Google?

netvisa




msg:807069
 3:08 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

MS will not be able to buy Google, for antitrust reasons. Actually, MS can not buy anyone whose market share is No. 1 in software related industry. Google clearly has a dominant position, hence MS has to buy someone else or do it themselves.

kovacs




msg:807070
 3:10 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Re: Overture -

Overture hits new low on disputed analyst call [reuters.com]
Shares of Overture Services Inc. OVER.O , which provides ads linked to Web search results, hit a new 52-week low on Wednesday, after an analyst downgraded the stock, citing the threat of increased competition from key customer Microsoft Corp.

WebGuerrilla




msg:807071
 3:16 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>this means they need the knowledge and expertise that can only come from buying out someone who has it.

Yea, it is quite strange. Over the last couple of months I've heard many MSN/Google and MSN/Yahoo rumors, but the obvious choice to me is Overture.

By grabbing Overture, they get to maintain their "committed relationship" and they just happen to pickup dozens of patents, a couple good size databases, and quite a few very smart search people that they can add to the 70 people they've already brought on.

MSN/Overture/FAST/AltaVista would be an exremely powerful combination. Rather than resisting, Yahoo and Google should be fighting over who gets to make their "why you should buy us" presentation first.

rfgdxm1




msg:807072
 4:14 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Rather than resisting, Yahoo and Google should be fighting over who gets to make their "why you should buy us" presentation first.

Particularly considering how much cash MS has laying around for a potential purchase. The owners of Google would have to be all kinds of stupid if at this moment they aren't trying to sell it to MS at a high price. The whole idea behind venture capitalism is to develop something, and then sell it off for a lot more than you invested.

rtfmnews




msg:807073
 4:34 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Microsoft has billions of dollars in CASH. They can BUY anything they want, but they can also BUILD anything they want.

Microsoft can build something that's fully integrated with the browser and the operating system, lock everyone else out, and get a slap on the wrist from the DOJ, several years after it's too late.

Google's UI looks like it was designed by someone's nephew. They use Linux. Microsoft isn't going to buy them. They're going to try to destroy them.

hooloovoo22




msg:807074
 4:39 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I hope they do take on google. microsoft has some pretty bright minds working for them. if they decide this is a big focus, then i'm really excited to see what they can do with it. it'll be a welcome challenge to google to keep innovating.

microsoft vs. apple. microsoft vs. sun. microsoft vs. oracle. microsoft vs. google. like it or not it gives us good products/services and makes the rest of the industry innovative too. bring it on.

vik_c




msg:807075
 5:58 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I hope Microsoft snaps up some other search engine and tries creating a product as good as Google instead of buying Google. Competition will be good for the surfer experience as well as for webmasters while a monopoly isn't good news for either.

Besides Google has some great technology and they haven't made any blunders so far. The way they're going they could be a multi billion dollar company post IPO. A change of work culture could change a lot of things and Google may go downhill if there's an exodus.

rfgdxm1




msg:807076
 6:07 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I hope Microsoft snaps up some other search engine and tries creating a product as good as Google instead of buying Google. Competition will be good for the surfer experience as well as for webmasters while a monopoly isn't good news for either.

MS does prefer to be in the position as the dominant player in the market. Thus Google makes sense for them to buy on that logic.

Chris_R




msg:807077
 7:04 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

It absolutely makes sense for microsoft to want to buy google.

Google is worth a TON. It is totally undervalued and MSFT is one of the few companies that could pull this off.

However, google has always appeared to be a long term player. If the investors wanted to cash out - they could have already.

MSFT could afford it and could make it worth their while. I suspect many google employees wouldn't be as excited about working for microsoft as they would be for google.

Google seems to want to stick around for a while and establish their own roots. Google is on the way to becoming the second most profitable Internet company if they aren't already.

They don't NEED microsoft - but MSFT could make them an offer that would be VERY HARD to refuse...

Napoleon




msg:807078
 7:24 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> I hope Microsoft snaps up some other search engine and tries creating a product as good as Google <<

IMHO they have no chance whatsoever. Why? Because firms tend to drive forward aligned to their own corporate values and cultures.

Microsoft frankly have little interest in quality. They are a monetization outfit and have been for years. A bit like Overture in many respects, which is why I refer to DNA in Overture threads.

It's in their DNA to hijack, shortcut and provide a glossy shallow version to compete with quality.

Just take a look at MSN search. Apalling. Paid level upon paid level upon pay for entry. Shockingly bad in terms of depth or quality.

I certainly don't think they would get away with buying Google, and frankly they would wreck it if they did. My money is on Overture - there's a lot of synergy there in terms of culture.

Whichever route they take, don't expect anything other than a bad search experience to result.

vitaplease




msg:807079
 7:37 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Larry and Sergey seem to be the type of guys that would love to say NO to Bill, every time of the day, every day of the year.

They are scientists with an ego. Together they're nearly worth the amount of pages they have indexed in dollars, even without an over generous offer from MS.

With no financial worries, with no burden of administrative management to take care of, and being so young as they are, why say yes? They need challenge not extra comfort.

lazerzubb




msg:807080
 9:00 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Overture (over) = Market Capitalization of $902.8M [biz.yahoo.com]
Ask Jeeves (askj) = Market Capitalization of $298.0M [biz.yahoo.com]

Which one would you buy if you where MSN?
I have no idea what they are looking for, but with the buying of Ask Jeeves they get Ask Jeeves Web properties + Teoma and a brand, what they have left is developing a PPC engine, they already have their "FEATURED SITES", i think one of the problems for MSN would be for the people to sign up for new accounts with them, would people have time to manage all accounts?
And if MSN bought Overture they could stop providing Yahoo with PPC listings (Yahoo might develop their own PPC engine and then there is nothing Ov can do about it), but then Overture biggest revenue/profit source goes away, and i can't remember the figure, but i believe a very large source of income for Overture comes from Yahoo, then the value of Overture drops significantly, which will lead to drop in the prize of the Overture stock and the Market Capitalization should go down quite a bit, which would make it way cheaper to buy Overture then than now, and how is Overture's financial position now, how much debt do they have?

And if MSN was going to buy Ask Jeeves, i think they would get a technology that they could implement outside MSN Search, maybe when you pressed f1 in windows and used the search function is would be a Ask Jeeves dude poping up and helping you instead of the thing they have now.

Other interesting things about this.
Search Ad Revenue Predicted to Top 2 Billion This Year [webmasterworld.com]

Easy read article regarding MSFT properties and their profit/loss - Nov 19 2002 [news.zdnet.co.uk]

scareduck




msg:807081
 10:52 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Chris R --
Google is worth a TON

Nobody has any idea as to actual valuation, me or you or anyone outside Google privy to their actual P/L statements. This point needs to be hammered home; a company is only worth what somebody will pay for it, and right now the IPO market is horribly depressed if not at a complete standstill due to the war.

rtfmnews --
Microsoft can build something that's fully integrated with the browser and the operating system, lock everyone else out, and get a slap on the wrist from the DOJ, several years after it's too late.

Google's UI looks like it was designed by someone's nephew. They use Linux. Microsoft isn't going to buy them. They're going to try to destroy them.

Exactly. The only thing preventing MS from doing so is MS's itch to make everything into a profit center (except that which crushes competition) has driven them to an increasingly rapacious attitude toward their customers. (Nothing like charging your customers more and increasing their operational costs for the same product they already own [theinquirer.net].) The ill-will that LV6 is generating in the small-to-medium-sized business market is nothing short of eye popping. From my own experience, they have sent us threatening letters warning us that we had better be in compliance with their licensing or else we'd get audited! MS had no reason to assume we were in violation (nor were we), but the point is that they're reduced to shaking down their existing customers for more money, and have gotten rather rude about it, too. At the rate things are going, the old Onion headline [theonion.com] about MS patenting ones and zeros won't be a joke, but reality.

rumple




msg:807082
 11:07 am on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Vitaplease wrote:

>>With no financial worries, with no burden of administrative management to take care of, and being so young as they are, why say yes? They need challenge not extra comfort.

One word... power. If ms offers them enough money, then they can make a real difference in some area that's important to them. Like you say though, their personality seems diametrically o[posed to a sellout, so would probably take a huge chunk of cash before they would beleive the benefit to the world they could make would outweigh becoming whores to the mighty ms.

Chris_R




msg:807083
 12:13 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Chris R --
Google is worth a TON

Nobody has any idea as to actual valuation, me or you or anyone outside Google privy to their actual P/L statements. This point needs to be hammered home; a company is only worth what somebody will pay for it, and right now the IPO market is horribly depressed if not at a complete standstill due to the war.

I don't need to see their P/L statements to know they are worth a ton :) There are plenty of companies out there LOSING money worth a TON.

Overture is worth a billion dollars [yes I know that is all theory based on market cap]. Google is making a profit - has a great brand and is easily worth $1B. If given the opportunity - MSFT - would be foolish not to buy it. Even if google was losing money - they'd be foolish not to buy it.

If Yahoo is worth $14B - google is worth at least 10% of that. In my opinion google is worth more.

Of course - like you say something is only worth what people would pay for it, but if google IPO'd tomorrow at a market cap of less than $2B - I would be amazed. I'd drain half my brokerage account and use every penny to buy google at those prices.

vitaplease




msg:807084
 12:24 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Chris,

I am sure that these forums will be part of a visiting tour of financial journalists and merchant banks prior to them fixing/discussing the IPO pricing.

Will ya stop pre-feeding these valuations! :)

Chris_R




msg:807085
 12:38 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok - sorry :) If that is the case - I think google is worth a couple hundred thousand :)

I have wanted a google Stock Certificate for a LONG time. I bought some other ones for decoration from oneshare.com.

The pixar one is very nice looking, but I need a google one. Some sort of google decoration. The train and lava lamp just don't cut it. Also, I think they'd get upset if I took their sign.

I am always looking for new companies to invest in. I have been dying for Google to go public. After gateway went public (the last time I was even close to that excited[they were much more fun back then]) - I did pretty well on those shares - glad I didn't hold on to them forever though - they crashed pretty hard during the bust.

Everything about the stock market is speculation, but I still love to do it. When you have index funds beating 75% of managed funds - that says something as to how much guesswork this really is.

webgator




msg:807086
 4:58 pm on Apr 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yea, it is quite strange. Over the last couple of months I've heard many MSN/Google and MSN/Yahoo rumors, but the obvious choice to me is Overture.

I would have to agree with Web Guerilla. The logical choice would be to buy Overture with all its newly aquired search properties. The corporate cultures seem similar so that would make a good fit for MSN. The asking price for Google would presumably be too high and assuming that Microsoft can't buy both companies because of anti-trust issues, you'd leave yourself open from competition from Overture in the future. This way you can just take on Google directly and let the market sort it out. The revenue from Overtures current partners (minus Yahoo of course) plus not having to share revenue with Overture (since they would own it) plus eventually dropping Looksmart and Inktomi, would finally make MSN a profitable entity. Of course I could be wrong on all accounts (being an SEO and not a finance guru) but I predicted the Google/AOL partnership to all who would listen and that was right on the money.

SlyOldDog




msg:807087
 10:54 pm on Apr 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

And if MSN bought Overture they could stop providing Yahoo with PPC listings (Yahoo might develop their own PPC engine and then there is nothing Ov can do about it), but then Overture biggest revenue/profit source goes away, and i can't remember the figure, but i believe a very large source of income for Overture comes from Yahoo, then the value of Overture drops significantly, which will lead to drop in the prize of the Overture stock and the Market Capitalization should go down quite a bit, which would make it way cheaper to buy Overture then than now, and how is Overture's financial position now, how much debt do they have?

Err...Lazerzubb, if MSN bought Overture then it would be off the market, so it wouldn't have a market value any longer.

BTW Overture has no long term debt at all.

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