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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.
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.
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]
I couldn't agree more. It's far better to stand 1 or 2 chances out of 3 to get organic traffic than 1 out of 2. And if the acquisition goes through, I think it would be wiser, even from Microsoft's point of view, to keep the two organic search entities separate, if only for statistical comparison, not the least of which would be for comparison of impact on PPC revenues between the two and trends in usage statistics.
To be perfectly honest, while I've always been a "fan" of Microsoft because of the opportunities their software opened up, primarily for the job market, when I keep hitting cloaked redirected pages (some to very "non-family-friendly" sites) and periodically get hit with circle jerks and/or drive-by malware downloads, it certainly doesn't encourage continuing to use a search engine. I see that happening regularly at Live Search, but not at Yahoo Search.
I checked for something really valuable owned by Yahoo and found this press release from 2004:
Yahoo! and Google Resolve Disputes [ [google.com...] ]
"Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Google will take a license to U.S. Patent No. 6,269,361 and several related patents, held by Yahoo!'s wholly-owned subsidiary, Overture, and Yahoo! dismissed its patent lawsuit against Google."
If MS buys Yahoo, those patents held by Overture could be Google's future nightmares. Yahoo bought Overture on October 7 2003.
WebmasterWorld members discussed in April 2002 patent 6,269,361
[ [webmasterworld.com...] ]
[edited by: zafile at 1:00 am (utc) on Feb. 3, 2008]
That's just what pops into my head, there's more. Plus they own tons of patents.
The only intersections are Search (which Yahoo! clearly wins), email (most likely will keep them separate) and IM (combine it).
What does MNS have that is of quality and they will have to get rid of?...
I'd keep 2 portals separate, segregate content, get rid of duplicates. segregate services where possible. Use your own platforms for advertising Microsoft software, XBox, etc.
IMHO Google ain't seen nothing yet. If this goes through, Microsoft will dominate internet, and will be waiting for a Google's misstep (which will happen) to take over advertising market.
But which Yahoo stuff makes money?
According to [businessweek.com...] , Yahoo employed only 600 workers in 1998.
Nine and a half years later, the number grew to 14,300. [ [biz.yahoo.com...] ]
Isn't 14,300 workers simply too high for what Yahoo does today?
Yahoo is basically just a publisher of content made by others. News, music, videos come from third parties. Does it take 14,300 workers just to publish other people's content?
Is Yahoo applying technology effectively today?
If MS does buy Yahoo, It'll be definitely interesting to see how Microsoft manages Yahoo properties. It will be a good opportunity for MS to show its management techniques and technologies.
A typical comment made an anti-Microsoft zealot.
It's funny that David Drummond, Google's Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, makes such an statement in complete oposition to the fact he has a job thanks to the wide spread of the PC.
The wide spread of the PC allowed the expansion of the Internet.
Bill Gates said in December 1995:
"In any phenomenon like this [The Internet] you get long periods of time where people anticipate it, and yet there isn't critical mass. There's not enough users, so there isn't enough content, there's not enough content, so there isn't enough users."
"If you go back 20 years ago to the original vision of Microsoft - a computer on every desk and every house - there was a clear view that eventually computers would be connected together, be dialing up, and there'd be a pool of available information. And to me it's actually amazing how long it's taken for communications costs to come down for this to become a key application of the PC."
The PC allowed a critical mass to make the Internet what it is today. To bad anti-Microsoft zealots such as David Drummond can't accept this fact.
Even with Microsoft's influence over the PC, enough successful companies grew out of the Internet phenomenon: Amazon, Ebay, the ISPs, etc, etc, etc.
Still, Yahoo is basically just a publisher of content made by others. News, music, videos come from third parties.
Remember AOL Time Warner? This deal feels similar. Time will tell.
If you look at the market share for search in the last few years, neither Yahoo nor Microsoft have made a dent into Google's share. And I don't hear too many people saying how much better either of their search results are.
There's really no sign either company is moving in the right direction, making progress. So how do two bad companies equal one good company? This will likely be a dud like AOL Time Warner.
They've both been around cyberspace from the beginning--heck, Yahoo was the leader--and yet after all these years they still don't know what they're doing.
And if they can't turn around their own companies, exactly which other companies they acquired have they turned around into dominant leaders, or at least competitive businesses?
I think Steve Balmer is just so agonized by making no progress in search market share, felt he had to do something, and this is the only thing he could think of.
Google should fire back at Microsoft by launching Google Browser 1.0! No more whining about monopolies. Get busy, boys and girls.
P.S. What does Jerry Yang think of all this? It's pretty embarrassing what Yahoo became after such a great start. Ugh.
Three major search engine spiders are better then two
Unless of course you own a website that ranks well on SE 1 and 3 and then 3 buys 2 turning it into 2.3, thereby increasing your traffic by an estimated 20%
This is what will happen in my case if we see the merger of $! so I'm looking forward to it.
This guarantees Google an even bigger lead in the short term and, considering neither Yahoo or Microsoft were making significant gains, how do they make it up a year from now?
The only people who should be happy about this is Google, unless they were about to buy Yahoo or sign that ad deal with Yahoo. But the sting of losing Yahoo will wear off a year from now when we hear that former Yahoo engineers and Microsoft engineers are still picking fights with each other. Well, the former Yahoo engineers that don't just leave.
"In a bid to remain independent, Yahoo plans to reject Microsoft Corp.’s unsolicited takeover offer, according to the Wall Street Journal. Quoting sources familiar with the situation, the Journal reports that Yahoo’s board feels the offer of $31 per share "massively undervalues" the company.... "