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Microsoft Bids $44.6B for Yahoo

     
11:49 am on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just a brief clip on Yahoo News dated Feb. 1, 2008:

Microsoft to Pay $31 Per Share for Yahoo, Totaling $44.6 Billion in Cash and Stock [biz.yahoo.com]

Microsoft Corp. offered to buy search engine operator Yahoo Inc. for $44.6 billion in cash and stock in a move to boost its competitive edge in the online services market.

And here's a Press Release with today's date:

Microsoft Proposes Acquisition of Yahoo! for $31 per Share [biz.yahoo.com]

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT - News) today announced that it has made a proposal to the Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO - News) Board of Directors to acquire all the outstanding shares of Yahoo! common stock for per share consideration of $31 representing a total equity value of approximately $44.6 billion.

It's hitting news sites one after another now.

From Fortune's Daily Briefing [dailybriefing.blogs.fortune.cnn.com]

Microsoft’s letter to Yahoo further indicates that a year ago, Microsoft approached Yahoo’s board but was told that “now is not the right time from the perspective of our shareholders to enter into discussions regarding an acquisition transaction.” Given the plunge in Yahoo stock and the prospect of a damaging recession this year, if now isn’t the right time, it’s hard to imagine what is.

[edited by: Marcia at 12:02 pm (utc) on Feb. 1, 2008]

9:05 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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".....Weary Y! is ripe for a 2-on-1 tag-team partner vs. Google. Exciting....."

Batman and Robin vs Superman :)

9:08 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google is the Lamborgini

Google is the Chevy Nova.

There are a couple of Lanborginis, but they just don't travel enough roads to be useful.

9:17 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I bet that Google search market share will boost after MSFT acquisition of Y! as Yahoo Searchers who don't like MSFT will move to Google.

I pray this deal don't go forward, I have good positions at Yahoo than Live Search.

9:19 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If Google was the Chevy Nova it wouldn't do as well in Spain :)
9:21 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Nabeel,
it will probably be a mix. I doubt MSN will through their code 100% out.

I hope it doesn't go through either since I'm completely out of Yahoo on my main site and I am afraid that inktomi's ban list from 10 years ago might make it on MSN too.

10:04 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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MSFT should have offered $1 billion to Y!'s top engineers :) instead.

This is why we know it's not search they're after...
10:05 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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jtara Thank you for taking the time to explain the ups and downs of a stock precipitating a sale/company acquisition. Guess one can tell I have little experience in the stock market.

What I do have is 100% organic trafic, 85% of which is Google. I for one would be very happy not to have so many eggs in one basket. I vote yes for a BillHoo!

10:27 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It's worth recalling that not only does Yahoo have patents of their own, but when they acquired Overture, Inktomi, AllTheWeb and Alta Vista, didn't they also acquire rights to all of their patents as well? So what happens to all the patented technology if/when Microsoft acquires Yahoo?

There was a thread I recall here at WebmasterWorld a number of years ago (around 2000-2001) saying that it was reputed that Alta had just about everything related to search patented. It's probably an outdated concept at this point in time, years later, but there's still a wealth of technology for both search and advertising.

I can't see this being about search, but rather about traffic and market share. Yahoo is the grand-daddy of high traffic portals and always has been. Others have tried and come and gone by the wayside, but only Yahoo as a portal has continued to grow over the years. Recall the strategy publicly stated (by Semel) a few years back, about their model being to buy up properties and bring them in-house rather than outsourcing. What don't they have onsite?

10:40 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This is the worst idea ever, period. I would set both companies back by at least 2 years. There, I said it. At least, now, if it happens, I can have schadenfreude.
11:53 pm on Feb 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Great news. About time something interesting happened in this industry, I say.

And about the best possible thing that could happen as well, IMHO.

--
(it's not that I fancy MSFT or YHOO, but together they do hold some weight against GOOG, which can't be said about them individually)

12:25 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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...

US, EU unlikely to stop Microsoft deal [news.yahoo.com] ( AP/news.yahoo.com )

...

...

...

*empty glare*

12:34 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Normally three search engines would be better than two, but Yahoo is so far beyond "pathetic" that moving the "poor" Microsof one onto Yahoo properties would increase the possibility of giving Google some competition.

Poor is better than pathetic for all concerned here.

12:40 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This interview with Microsoft's Kevin Johnson in the Seattle Times reads like poetry.

Microsoft's Kevin Johnson on proposed Yahoo acquisition [blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com]

Our two companies share a common passion for innovation and creating opportunity and great user experiences through technology. And that passion for innovation is really at the core, and so together I think we're going to redefine how people and businesses think about information in the new age of the Internet and I think that common passion is really a glue that helps us bring the workforces together.
1:35 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Wow, three "passions" in two sentences! Is that a record? :-)
1:40 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm no economist, but I think this is a very interesting play.

So why is Microsoft's $tock dropping with this announcement?

Because the buyer usually overpays in a takeover.

2:57 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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By my count, this will put Google's search share at 54% and Microyahoosoft at 42%. More importantly, it will merge YSM with Adcenter and give Microsoft the backbone necessary to cut into Google's advertising share. As well, Microsoft can take YPN and run with it because yahoo has only provided limited competition to Google in that department. All it will take for Microsoft to surpass Google after this deal is to poach a few search contracts with some big ISP's and big sites and G will be looking up instead of down.
3:07 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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poach a few search contracts with some big ISP's and big sites

Yahoo already has an ISP arrangement with AT&T, who took over Prodigy who in their turn had bought out many ISPs several years back, including Southern Bell and Pacific Bell.

It's already AT&T Yahoo DSL (or dial-up), including ISP web based mail, which runs ads: not in the emails themselves, but in the subscriber interface. The ISP homepage is Yahoo/AT&T, just a branded version of the Yahoo site. The advertising reach is already huge, just with the default alone.

5:32 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What a nice way of burning billions.

Both are losers in the competition with Google due to incompetent management and engeneers. Bringing these two lots together will make Google laugh and rave.

6:48 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Wow!
7:53 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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yes, WoW ^^

MicroHoo vs. Google.. ..

9:52 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I can't believe this will slip past both the EU and US antitrust law enforcement agencies. In an ogilopoly, companies #2 and 3 merging really has the same effect as companies #1 and 2, or #1 and 3.

Probably true in the US. In the EU, Yahoo and MS search are pretty much irrelevant. Nobody will mind when the blind and the lame join forces. The same goes for their share in advertising, me thinks.

11:26 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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MicroWho indeed.

An Animal Planet documentary on Mammoth mating habits.

1:29 pm on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What Yahoo! engine are people using that they think is better than MSN?

They both have their flaws but Yahoo! is fulled with .edu cloaked redirect crap. You also can't beat the handcoded SERPS they kick back.

2:06 pm on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft buying Yahoo is better than Google doing it and owning 90% of search!

I agree with that! Yahoo has been on the ropes for quite some time and is not really so viable on its own. Microsoft has never really been able to make inroads into search or online advertising. Taking over Yahoo search makes perfect sense and will actually finally produce a real competitor to Google. The first thing that MS will do is start advertising its search and hammering away at Google's user base. It's the natural consolidation of search into two major rivals as the industry is maturing. I think having a real alternative to Google will be a good thing for webmasters overall, because now we have none.

7:01 pm on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Brett,

We are going to double within 2-3 years. DOUBLE!

Do you see new players entering the search market?

7:28 pm on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do you see new players entering the search market?

Any from the current alternative search engines?

[edited by: FromRocky at 7:29 pm (utc) on Feb. 2, 2008]

9:03 pm on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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...reads like poetry.

Ah, but what genre? We need a title here:

Pavane for a dead business model
Ode on a Stanford Business School Buzzword Generator
Theme and Variations on Mein Kampf
Swan Song for A Dodo

9:09 pm on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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>Microsoft buying Yahoo is better than Google doing it and owning 90% of search!

I think that illustrates the difference between Microsoft and Google. Microsoft is buying the brand, because they think that's all that matters: "the perceived value of the content is zero" as one analyst said. They think people will use Yahoo because people are too stupid to notice something has changed.

Google is buying a business, because it's well run. Content is all that matters, and the money will follow. They DON'T fantasize about getting 90% of search by spreading their brand across the trademarks of previously failed portals, because they know people who are dissatisfied with their results can always go to MSN, um, live, um, whatever alias for "mud" Microsoft's PR flunkies like today.

9:39 pm on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Content is all that matters, and the money will follow.

Which Google acquisitions have resulted in money following?

Google's mainstay and almost sole profit center continues to be search. I don't see anything else they've done contributing significantly to their bottom line.

Perhaps they have saved some time to market with some of their technology acquisitions related to their core business, but the rest is fluff that hasn't brought them profits.

10:09 pm on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft can't get anything right except for monopolization for the intention of the greater potential for profits. Then they forget about it until competition begins to stir threatening their monopoly. I have to deal with hit and run search engine results that get top position for fifteen minutes and disappear on MSN. I like having Yahoo separate for any and every reason I can think up. Three major search engine spiders are better then two. A buyout would only benefit those at Yahoo who will retire and those at Microsoft.

- John

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