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CNN/WSJ: Microsoft In Talks to Purchase Yahoo?

     

Brett_Tabke

2:31 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[money.cnn.com...]

Microsoft has been in talks with Yahoo! about potentially acquiring a major portion of the company, according to a report published Wednesday.

Members of the company's top management are considering a deal despite Microsoft's history of winning over major technology markets - think Web browsers - on its own, The Wall Street Journal said.


Reuters [in.today.reuters.com]

Although talks over an equity stake do not appear active, Microsoft's top management remains open to a deal with Yahoo as pressure grows from shareholders to perform better against Google, the newspaper cited people familiar with the situation as saying.

graeme_p

6:03 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Firstly the article says, major portion. This does not necessarily mean a buying the whole company - it could mean a deal like Google has done with AOL. However lets assume that they do mean a takeover.

I would be really surprised if a takeover was allowed. Competition regulators are very wary of allowing mergers between major players - and this would have to get past regulators in the US and Europe and possibly other major economics was well.

It would also be very risky. Most takeovers lose money. Combining two businesses is very difficult. In addition MS is (as with Hotmail) going to feel obliged to move Yahoo to Windows/MS SQL Server/IIS. Given how difficult it was for them to move Hotmail (at least two failed attempts), imagine how difficult moving Yahoo is going to be.

Like a lot of takeovers this is likely to be bad for both consumers and the acquirer. It will also probably damage Google, but that does not mean that there will be a winner - often takeovers just lead to a lot of waste and mess.

mimmo

7:34 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Seems like MS wants to be everywhere, search, web, anti-spam, backup, online services, even encyclopedia, games, console games, book publishing, cars, PDA ...... did it ever happen in the past that a company just became unpopular because it is everywhere and people simply have enough?
I think this is just too much! In the end the brand Microsoft will be associated with nausea.

By the way, you wonder why Vista is delayed again and again ...

RichTC

9:33 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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With any luck if msn acquire yahoo, Bill Gates will have the brains to dump msn search and just use Yahoo as its search facility like is was before.

Lets face it msn have played with search, its dire, it doesnt work, the results are a joke, the search bot is next to useless and they simply do not have enough data. It would take years to gain the search data that Yahoo has - if they can secure Yahoo, it puts them well in the search race.

With the roll out of the search facility on IE7 the last thing they want is for users to see junk results and start changing their default settings in favour of a competing search engine.

It will be interesting how things turn out here, but if they do acquire Yahoo, thats puts us all back to where we were before with just the two main search players.

marketingmagic

11:49 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well no point getting excited just yet, but just the fact that Yahoo would even entertain the thought of MS owning a majority share of the company is facinating. Definetely staying tuned to this one!

bobothecat

11:55 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)



Seems like MS wants to be everywhere, search, web, anti-spam, backup, online services, even encyclopedia, games, console games, book publishing, cars, PDA ...... did it ever happen in the past that a company just became unpopular because it is everywhere and people simply have enough?

And Google isn't doing the same?

Google search, earth, Froogle, maps, gmail, toolbar, images, finance, news, maps, calender, blogger, groups, talk, local, etc... etc...

mimmo

1:38 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Still a long way for G to get at the levels of MS ...

aleksl

6:37 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)



did it ever happen in the past that a company just became unpopular because it is everywhere and people simply have enough?

Yes, Ford and GM. :) On every TV channel, magazine and billboard. Together with Chrysler, etc. nowadays <50% of US auto market.

---

This is fascinating, indeed. I doubt MSN would own Yahoo! outright, and I doubt that they will kill Yahoo! technology. IMHO they won't even rebrand it. Yet this gives them a push into internet products (where they have no clue, look at MSN Search and .NET products) and internet advertising (Overture - must be cheaper to improve on it then develop their own).

abacuss

7:13 am on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo and MSN combined efforts goes to approx 33.5% and google handles approx 49.5% .. with MS Vista due sometime next year i think the search battle will even out.

It will be great to watch that both the seach engine will try their best to provide the best results.

percentages

7:37 am on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The concept that MS would even consider buying Yahoo at this time is totally alien to me!

Is Bill still running this company?, from this strategy and the $23.5 a share price the answer is obviously NO!

A company that has 90%+ of World-Wide dominence of the OS comes up with this lame stragegy.......no way is Gates in the driving seat!

I that guess MS is now being run by pencil pushers. A great shame!

angiolo

7:52 am on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It could be a pity.

I prefer more competitors in the search engines world.

We risk to have all our eggs in only two bags....

somaraju_r

11:08 am on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The only thing that will happen is, MS will buy x% share in Yahoo! and then combine their search with Y! and any other related services. Wherever search has to be there on msn or vista or whatever it maybe, it will be Y! and branded as Y!. So, only Y! will be working on search.

Search is a tough market to enter so late. MS realises it and wants to fix that.

I won't expect any major earth shattering news. It will be as simple as above. Anyways, MS and Y! cannot be combined. They are different in philosophy, technology and culture. It will be like HP-Compaq deal where the combined went down if Y! and MS combine like that.

surfin2u

1:30 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Combining results from two search engines could prove to be a very difficult task. Maybe almost as difficult as getting Yahoo! people and Microsoft people to work together.

There was a thread somewhere on WW about what's wrong with Yahoo! search. The posts pretty much agreed that the answer is just about everything. Guess Microsoft must have missed that one.

econman

1:38 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I disagree with those who think MSN would replace its own search technology with Yahoo's. MSN's search results are already as good as, or better than, Yahoo's results in many sectors. At most, I can visualize MS trying to incorporate portions of Yahoo's search technology, and/or historical data, but that's about it.

Yahoo has lots of other assets which might interest MS, however, including lots of revenues, a large number of advertisers, a large number of users, and large amounts of content.

aleksl

4:05 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)



MS and Y! cannot be combined.

I would say it's completely opposite - they are a great match. They don't have to many similar lines of business.

Why everyone thinks that when one company buys a piece of another, they necessarily have to be jammed together? Did Google become AOL when they invested into it? Did Nissan became Renault? Did Jaguar became Ford (yeah, a little)? Etc., you get the point.

walkman

5:54 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)



>> Search is a tough market to enter so late.

it has barely started.

somaraju_r

6:29 pm on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes. The real fight has just started. But, Inkotomi (Y!'s search engine) is the oldest search engine of the big 3. Google has been playing in search for nearly a decade or so. MSN cannot expect to compete with such search veterans by joining the arena just couple of years back.

Over 3-4 years they might become 2nd or if they are really good 1st. But, do they have that much time? I don't think so. They want to win fast. Better way is a joint venture or something similar to that.

MS and Y! may not have much in common but MSN and Y! do have lot in common. They both are portals, have content, fighting for user recognition and offer very similar services like mail, search, news ...etc. That is where both have to operate in-sync with each other and that is where the real problems happen.

Google only invested a % in AOL. That is what will happen with MS and Y! also. That is what I am also saying. IMO outright buying is not a good idea for both.

Hobbs

2:57 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Microsoft is better off buying Google shares instead.
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