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Microsoft and Yahoo Hold Meetings To Discuss Proposed Acquisition

 3:05 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. senior executives met this week to discuss Microsoft's proposal to acquire the Internet company but failed to resolve any of their differences, according to people familiar with the matter.

The meeting, which took place near Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., was the second between top executives from the two companies in recent weeks. Neither meeting included bankers.

The Microsoft executives showed no willingness to raise their cash-and-stock offer, and the Yahoo camp continued to refuse to enter formal negotiations without a sweetened bid, people familiar with the matter say.

Microsoft and Yahoo Hold Meetings To Discuss Proposed Acquisition [online.wsj.com]



 6:15 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I guess this can only be bad for Y!?

M$ have their cash cow - so it's purely down to whether Q1 stacks up for Y! as to whether they get more, less or the same deal as was proposed back in Feb - can't wait to see next instalment... creative accounting watch out :0)

Hasn't everyone else dropped out the acquisition / partnership talks now?


 8:05 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

I only think that M$ are interested at the moment. Surely Q1 can't be better than Q4 last year? My money is on M$ lowering their bid.


 9:17 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

So, YHOO was trading below $20 and going south before the MS offer that inflated the price closer to the offer amount.

Since then we've seen Yahoo play its hand poorly - speculation of cosying up with other parties has led to nothing concrete so their hopes of MS upping their bid are fading.

Add into that the worsening global financial outlook and you have a recipe for MS threatening to pull the offer if Yahoo don't play ball.

Yahoo should accept that the offer, regardless of your thoughts about MS, is more than fair.

A 50%+ premium on a company losing market share whilst heading into uncertain times for advertising looks like good value for YHOO shareholders - if MS pull ot the stock may return to th $15 to $20 range.


 9:39 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

It certainly looks as if the White Knights have gone snowboarding.

But Yahoo! still seems to be in the driving seat - they can either deal or not, with the price being secondary to their willingness to play.

So if they're still just talking, it appears they believe they can go it alone - or maybe feel that failing alone is preferable to drowning in M$?


 9:58 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yahoo does have some cool products.

The problem is it takes Yahoo an exaggerated large work force to operate them.

Microsoft's management skills and technologies might be able streamline Yahoo's operation and bring back its value.

For Yahoo's sake, it should let itself be assimilated by Microsoft.


 10:48 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Double whammy for Google - one less competitor, and indigestion for M$ (maybe for ages), if the takeover happens.

And if it doesn't happen, M$ still don't have the activities they so badly need (and would have got from Yahoo!), and Yahoo! will continue to stumble along, at least for a while.

The big issue is that the companies have very different cultures, and merging divergent cultures - especially in the web world - is never easy. The creative talent at Yahoo! - the very bits that M$ want - may simply hemorrhage away.


 11:10 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

MS would be stupid to sweeten anything. Lower it maybe and wait till Y! shareholders start begging.


 1:11 am on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Once the market falls much further, the shareholders will be saying 'wait 'til the market picks up' - no-one wants to sell at the bottom of the cycle, and they'll convince themselves that 'things can only get better'.

I doubt M$ will raise the price - but they'll need to find some kind of a rabbit in Bill's hat.


 2:12 am on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)



 4:25 am on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

What about Alibaba [webmasterworld.com]?


 11:52 am on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Am still wondering how this deal helps anyone (Microsoft, Yahoo, customers or users). Both their managements have proven quite incompetent in competing with Google in the online world. One set of bad managers replacing another set of bad managers doesn't look like a recipe for success to me.

If someone benefits from this deal goes it would be Google, as MS & Yahoo will be too busy managing the integration to fix any of their problems giving Google a free run of the market & Google will potentially emerge much stronger.


 7:57 pm on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sounds like MSFT is throwing a temper tantrum [marketwatch.com]

If they didn't think they needed YHOO, they would ahve given up by now. YHOO has a lot that MSFT will never be able to build. MSFT at least thinks they need YHOO but it seems like Google will be the big winner if MSFT tries to swallow YHOO.


 8:48 pm on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

"YHOO has a lot that MSFT will never be able to build."

The correct phrase should be "YHOO has a lot of properties that will take MSFT a few years to build and consolidate."

Yet, Yahoo has something MSFT doesn't have!

Yes, those precious search patents held by Inktomi and Overture/Altavista.

A pretty good reason to swallow YHOO.

Now, does it seem "Google will be the big winner if MSFT tries to swallow YHOO"?

I don't think so!


 2:05 am on Apr 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you care toread the thread, it's been pointed out that while there may be clear benfits (as you suggest, the patents), Yahoo! is a big bite to swallow, and there's many examples (across the world of business, not just the web), that management time and effort in dgesting a large takeover, can seriously affect many current strategies.

That's what they meant by giving Google the *chance* to be a very big winner. Nothings for sure in this world, even the value of those patents. As we know, Open Source is rapidly undermining that business model ;)


 11:45 am on Apr 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Nobody will win here:
  • We all loose when MSFT gets another go at creating a pseudo monopoly by illegally abusing their existing ones. They've been convicted and fined record fines for that to proof the point.
  • Yahoo! will loose its identity, its creative drive and its supporters.
  • MSFT will not be able to assimilate Yahoo!, at least not before everything interesting has run away
  • Google might be the most beneficial player in the short to mid term (picking up good people, picking up market share, seeing their mortal enemy struggle with absorbing what cannot get absorbed ...). But once the long term kicks in we risk MSFT's "natural" tendency to go after markets it's insignificant in and leverage their monopoly in other areas to break into it and fully take it over. They've done it numerous times: browsers: netscape, real player, wordperfect, they all had nearly all of the market at one time. What would make most sense if for Google to step in and pick up Yahoo!'s shares at a low price.
  • shareholders: yep they might win if they play their hand at the right time, but they might just as well not, anyway they're too opportunistic to be a consideration for me. But in the end they too benefit from a a decent overall economy and that just cannot be built with monopolies, it *needs* competition to work, to advance, to grow.

All I can hope is that somehow it fail to pass [regulatory oversight? EU competition rules?, ...]


 7:51 pm on Apr 7, 2008 (gmt 0)


Microsoft CEO gives three week deadline for Yahoo [sabcnews.com]


 11:23 am on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

So that will be after Yahoo reports their first quarter results on April 22nd...


 11:39 am on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is the closest I've ever seen to a public corporation having an overtly gangsta mentality and employing gangsta tactics to bring their victim to their knees. If there's an alternate word for despicable, I certainly can't come up with it.


 3:51 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> This is the closest I've ever seen to a public corporation having an overtly gangsta mentality and employing gangsta tactics to bring their victim to their knees. If there's an alternate word for despicable, I certainly can't come up with it.

Wow! Y! is a public company. No one forced them to sell shares to the public. Once public, you're fair game, if shareholders agree. Let Y! take a chance with the proxy battle.

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