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Yahoo! is seeking to restart merger talks with AOL as a means of defending itself against the $45 billion (£23 billion) hostile bid approach from Microsoft, The Times has learnt.
...Tie-ups with groups such as Google or Disney are also being considered. Although Yahoo! and AOL previously failed to join forces because of differences over price...
It would be interesting to see how this all goes. I don't seem to get the need to merge with any other though.
[edited by: martinibuster at 5:08 am (utc) on Feb. 11, 2008]
[edit reason] Added link to story. [/edit]
I don't really know the state of AOL at the moment, but they do look like they will split from Time Warner, sooner rather than later.
As for Yahoo, I think Microsoft will still buy them, if they put in a slightly higher offer than the large one they have already put down on the table.
Also... Disney? Come on Yahoo!, that's plain stupid. That would mean getting involved in all kinds of odd activities like movie-production, resorts and whatever that would just further mess up the accounts.
It's not AOL, I would guess, but Time-Warner (or whatever they call themselves now.) They STILL do not have an internet play that impresses anyone. But, would Yahoo do it? Hmmmmm. I would have to say I would be impressed if they pulled that off. I guess.
It does look like "the blind leading the blind."
Scenario 1 - Legitimate Merger Attempt
Yahoo and AOL both have communities with repeat usage and significant search market share. Granted indivdually Google has much more search market share but if Yahoo and AOL combined their shares it would create a better rival to Google. A larger search market share would increase the demand from advertisers which should raise the PPC bids which would raise profitability. Personally I think it would also have a better chance of being approved by the Google blog, I mean the government regulators.
Scenario 2 - Fake Merger Attempt
This buys the Yahoo board more time to make changes and turn things around. In a perfect world they can turn the company around and be so very profitable that no one can afford to buy them. More realistically they slightly turn things which makes them more valuable and thus demanding of a higher buyout price. Either way it pressures Microsoft to increase their price just to conclude the deal.
Yahoo rebuffed Microsoft a year ago because they felt the had a solid plan to turn things around and thus return there stock price to it's former glory.
A year later, with Yahoo's stock price falling further, Microsoft makes a public bid for Yahoo at a price significantly higher than what the stock is currently trading at.
Yahoo rebuffs Microsoft again.
If I am a stockholder, how am I to believe that Yahoo's board has a viable plan to get it's stock back anywhere close to what Microsoft is offering. My confidence in Yahoo's ability is already shaken from there assurance a year ago.
My prediction is if Microsoft makes a hostile bid for Yahoo, they will get enough Yahoo shareholder support. Then it is only a matter of if it gets past the anti-trust issues.
All is good as long as MSFT does not gain foothold in the search engine world
So you are happy with a G monopoly then... like it or not there has to be some competition and at present M$ is about the only one that has the cash reserves to make any in roads to at least provide some choice for search.
I am not saying I want to see M$ takeover, but some competition will ensure at least a chance of a level playing field - plus will ensure innovation has to be top priority for both companies, for the benefit of all.