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Internet search engine Yahoo is in talks to acquire a minority stake in Indiatimes, the online operation of the privately owned Bennett Coleman Ltd, which owns the Times of India newspaper.
A senior executive at Bennett Coleman confirmed negotiations were taking place but added that the group was also talking to private equity funds. "An Internet initiative requires plenty of investment and since we hope to take our portal to the Nasdaq, we will require support," the executive said. He said negotiations could be completed within a month.
Senior Yahoo executives were in India last week to review the company's domestic operations but declined to comment on a potential investment in Indiatimes.
Then again... When is it not a good idea to corner the market early :)
I have a strong feeling that IndiaTimes balance sheet would not be very different from that of Rediff's.
Lots and lots of red ink.
So except for strategic reasons i dont see this proposed investment contributing anything to Yahoo's bottomline!
[edited by: gopi at 6:12 pm (utc) on Feb. 22, 2005]
What I'm getting at is, building a network of affiliated sites on which to not only place contextual advertising, but also to become publishers of original content to diversify sources of traffic beyond Yahoo branded properties.
So far we're seeing lots of thumbs downs from people familiar with the region. If there's no percentage in this, why would Yahoo jump into this deal? Are we missing something?
Is building a content network the next trend for Search Engines?
India Times runs Google ads. Yahoo's found an opportunity to increase their bottom line and hurt their competitor at the same time.
Are these mutally exclusive?
It's all about eyeballs right. India has those and per the article the Internet population is booming.
Why split the ad revenue (al la AdSense) when you own it all?
Newspapers or and most online news and info sources are around for Ad revenue. Y has an ad serving advantage with their network that G does not have yet (YET is stressed) that being deep user information, profiles, preferences, etc. The more they can extend and leverage this the better ads they will server, the more advertisers will pay or at minimum favor them over other options.
As an advertiser, you don't get much better targeting than ads within the Yahoo network (search advertising aside). Their ability to slice and dice their base so you can target ads provides great inventory. I know this is only within the network, but if we are talking pie in the sky whose to say this isn't thier goal.
It seems to be a sound strategy and as martinibuster pointed out this would fit right in with About.com
Lots and lots of red ink.
I would differ with you on this one Ashwin :)
Rediff I might agree have lots of red ink (Although they make a good revenue out of their Banner advertisements). Their shopping is a waste.
The reason I disagree that indiatimes might not have red ink is because they have an extremely strong Brick and mortar presence. They have significantly increased promoting indiatimes through their offline publications (Times of India, Filmfare, Femina etc). Their main revenue comes out of Advertising solutions. They might easily be among the top 2 websites in India (in terms of unique visitors). And they dont have to spend anything on generating content. Their publications are good enough to generate loads of content. I think they even have their own content based advertising.
I maybe wrong ,but because of many many reasons (from cultural to low creditcard penetration) currently there is no ecommerce user base in india ,most of the ecom activities of indian websites revolve around oversees expatriate indians...Other than bazee.com i am yet to see a local indian ecom success story!.
There is a very popular misconception that Bazee is making money. Bazee was a VC funded project. I am following them for some time and its just recently that they have started making some money. The best thing they did was to become part of eBay. I still have huge doubts about their money making capacity.
The most money making ecommerce website in India is in fact of Indian Railways!
There is low CC penetration in India, I agree. But the good thing is almost all major banks are internet enabled and hence allow ecommerce transactions.
If you want to see an ecommerce sucess story, might want to check out Indian Railways website, Indiatimes, CCAvenue.