Friday, February 1, 2008

Yahoo vs MSN vs Google

Much webspace has been used on the recent acquisition bid by Microsoft to buy Yahoo.
The New York Times Technology Section has basically been taken over by stories discussing the merger.

Notice the trend. Microsoft has it's MSN page set as the default of virtually every Windows machine in the free world. Google is the Default home page in the #2 browser spot. Leaving Yahoo to hope that users will set their page to default. Yahoo is facing a pretty steep decline, Microsoft is falling off the chart, meanwhile Google is steadily climbing year after year.

So if you are Microsoft, losing a three way race, what do you do. Emulate your competition doesn't seem to be working. Buy out the #2 and take second place by default. For years that is exactly what the have been trying to do.

yahoo microsoft google
Yahoo is faced with re-rejecting the most generous offer from Microsoft or disappointing it's investors with Dollar Signs in their eyes. It really is a no win situation for them.

Interestingly, Google has nothing to say on the matter. I would expect them to swoop in and offer to save Yahoo from the Borg, with a partnership/major investment. Yahoo would much rather not give up the ground they have fought for over the last few years to the same people they have been fighting. They have repeatedly said no to Microsoft, much to Steve Ballmer's chagrin. Now conveniently, right after less than stellar earning reports and the resignation of their Board Chairman, Yahoo is left with little choice in the matter.

In light of the significance of this proposal to your shareholders and ours, as well as the potential for selective disclosures, our intention is to publicly release the text of this letter tomorrow morning.

Due to the importance of these discussions and the value represented by our proposal, we expect the Yahoo! Board to engage in a full review of our proposal. My leadership team and I would be happy to make ourselves available to meet with you and your Board at your earliest convenience. Depending on the nature of your response, Microsoft reserves the right to pursue all necessary steps to ensure that Yahoo!’s shareholders are provided with the opportunity to realize the value inherent in our proposal.

Microsoft plays hardball. They always have. If they can't compete, they buy.

It is time for Google to play hardball too. Offer Yahoo a way out, without handing the keys over to Microsoft.

This will probably not happen, Google reads the news and blogs too. They undoubtably see the comments by current Yahoo customers.

I love yahoo. But if taken over by microsoft, I will leave in a flash….

I like yahoo, been there for eamil since 1995. But if MicroSoft takes over I will be going to google all the way

I use Yahoo as my homepage, search engine, and for my newsgroup. If Microsoft pursues a hostile takeover, I am switching to another host.

My homepage, etc is Yahoo and if there is a hostile takeover, I will switch also.

I will also change my host if msft takes over.

I use Google, and they are the reason Microsoft wants yahoo.
so either way , it don’t matter to me

I used to have a hotmail e-mail. When Microsoft bought it I’ve lost my inbox besides i’ve got a new on fully of spans. So i switched my e-mail to Yahoo…… What should i do now? Should i consider an e-mail at google’s gmail?

Hmmm…Want to no how Microsoft and Yahoo will decide how to proceed from here on out? By researching the applicable info. using Google.

So it may not make financial sense for Google to save Yahoo from Microsoft, but it would be a much sweeter victory to snatch it from their clutches and get the goodwill of Yahoo's customer base. I cannot find one Yahoo customer that believes MSFT would be a good thing for Yahoo's services.

Employees are another class of people no one seems to be interested in discussing, except Steve Ballmer.

– Operational efficiencies: Eliminating redundant infrastructure and duplicative operating costs will improve the financial performance of the combined entity.

Wouldn't want to be a Yahoo employee reading that.

I'll leave you with one more NY Times Comment:
This deal would be a perfect marriage: The sophistication and style of Yahoo with the reliability and trustworthiness of Microsoft.
— Posted by Dan

UPDATE: Google didn't stay silent for long.

So Microsoft's hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation.


Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email, IM, and web-based services? Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions -- and consumers deserve satisfying answers.

UPDATE 2/4/2008:

The NyTimes
Reports exactly what I suspected.

Privately, Google, seeing the potential deal as a direct attack, went much further. Its chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, placed a call to Yahoo’s chief, Jerry Yang, offering the company’s help in fending off Microsoft, possibly in the form of a partnership between the companies, people briefed on the call said.

But with a twist I didn't see coming.

One person involved in Yahoo’s deliberations suggested that “the sum of the parts are worth more than the whole,” arguing that its various pieces like Yahoo Finance, for example, could be sold to a company like the News Corporation for a huge premium while Yahoo Sports could be sold to a company like ESPN, a unit of the Walt Disney Company.

And an even better tactic no one considered over at Seeking Alpha.
Google could even bid for giggles–or help fund an effort to take Yahoo private.That latter point is important. What if Google helped fund a white-knight bidder? It would make total sense. And there would be a nice bonus–if Yahoo goes private the first thing the new owners would do is outsource search to Google.
I love this idea. I might even use Yahoo once in a while.


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