Tag Archives: yahoo

Yahooooo!!! Anyone want to buy Yahoo?

Since the acquisition/merge of Yahoo and some of its’ services was on the table – predominantly with Google and Microsoft – Yahoo seem to have done no good with their strategy. When Microsoft offered a generous price per share to acquire, Yahoo turned around and suggested that their stock was worth far more … possibly hoping that MS had options to increase this offer. As it turned out Microsoft told Yahoo it wasn’t interested in any further talks.

Yahoo’s stock price is in the toilet, rumours of an AOL take-over never seemed to surface, Microsoft is now sayng it’s only interested in acquiring the search part of the business, Yahoo’s CEO, Jerry Yang, has now quit the board and job losses abounds. All in all, not a great time for the once giant of the internet.

“We Need Plans – and Damn Good Ones!”

Clearly Yahoo needs to be revitalised – but how? Any take-over by Microsoft, AOL, Google or whomever will distill what Yahoo have built – and they have built or bought many great things. The problem is that their income / revenue streams aren’t quite what they should be. For another corporation to take over Y! would probably kill the brand off quietly (just like Geocities – remember them?) and asset strip – the kind of thing Microsoft would surely do.

From a consumer point of view this could be a great thing as it would see increased interconnectedness of applications and services. As a means of innovation and competitiveness this would not be such a great thing as without folks like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo competiting in the same spaces (Search, Email, etc.) it reduces the need to push innovation. Finally from an employment standpoint it would reduce the number of folks involved in making all the wonderful things happen.

That being said, there is suggestion that Yahoo needs a re-org; Rumour that projects are started and not completed being commonplace to name but one. Clearly a strong management team is needed.

Enter the Dragon

There is a rumour that a new player is on the scene; Johnathan Miller is a former head of AOL and is apparently intending to raise enough venture capital to privately buy Yahoo. By making Yahoo private, this could take the pressure off and allow the company to restructure without the added pressure of shareholders.

If Miller were to step up then this could be either the making or the breaking of the business… of course this too could be a bad strategy from somewhere in Yahoo to try to force another offer for their business… if it is, it smacks of desperation and I’m sure is something Microsoft for one won’t bite.

As predicted: Yahoo CEO says “Please buy us, Microsoft”

Now that a pivotal advertising partnership with Google is off the table, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang is ready return to the bargaining table with Microsoft if the world’s largest software maker remains interested in buying his embattled Internet company.” – Source: Physorg.

Now that the economy is in a downtown and Yahoo have laid off even more staff – plus this additional failure to partner successfully with Google, Yahoo has little choice but to look at a buyout. Last time Microsoft offered $33 a share, whereas Yahoo asked for $37 or no deal, I think Microsoft have played a good game and now can go back to the table with the upper hand. With the current stock market issues, I think MS will offer around $17. What a comparative bargain!

What comes after the purchase?

My view is that Microsoft will now approach this far more aggressively insomuch that it will probably lead to a massive asset strip. If you look at the current Yahoo offerings, there are some overlaps with Microsoft as well as some services which are likely candidates to be surplus to requirements – e.g. eCards, Maps, Mail, Autos, etc.

If this purchase is successful, Microsoft do have to be careful that they approach Yahoo with kid gloves – the PR needed to conduct a full takeover will mean that they will have to walk a tight rope and produce some quality deliverables quickly and well supported to get buy-in from Yahoo users. I’m thinking something like Yahoo UI enhanced with some Microsoft’ness, integration of Live! and Yahoo! Services, etc. In any case, it will be interesting times.

Yahoo + News Corp = Evil Internet

Yahoo has announced it’s looking at letting Murdoch’s News Corp. take over it’s hallowed halls for $40 a share (Microsoft offered $31). What a travesty for internet users worldwide! News Corp. a.k.a the axis of evil.

They have idiots pushed in our faces like Bill O’Reilly (O’Reilly Factor show on Fox), who continue to push the Neocon dictates of Herr Merdoch to the masses. Making Yahoo part of this awful corporation (there goes my chances for working at News Corp. Shame.) would be a terrible move in the long run. Don’t people get that no matter how much Microsoft bashing goes on, the prospect of News Corp. taking over Yahoo is one hundred times worse.

As I’ve mentioned, I believe the Microsoft based acquisition could be a very good thing – maybe Yahoo is trying to force their hand in raising the offer…. if that’s the case, I fear it could backfire to the detriment of us all.

Yahoo rejects Microsoft – “now go away or I shall taunt you a second time”

yahhh.jpg

Yahoo now says Microsoft didn’t offer enough – the offer was $31 per share which was just over 60% over the share price at that time. It also consisted of half cash, half stock of which the latter lost value recently.

Observers think that Microsoft will make another bid and I agree; strategically Microsoft need this purchase to secure a leading position in the various markets they are involved in. Without this, Google’s dominance will cause a ruckus in the MS org I’m sure… Other rumours suggest that Yahoo is looking to court other buyers such as Time Warner – whether this is to force Microsoft’s hand or whether they have some other motive one can’t conclusively say…

My articles (original) (follow-up)

More thoughts on Yahoo/Microsoft/Google

If you’ve read my first two blogs on the possible acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft (or Google…) – if not they’re available here and here – I summarised that potentially Microsoft taking over Yahoo could be a good thing, provided they take the right strategy and approach.

Television Financial “Guru”, Jim Cramer suggest “The outside of Yahoo is very good. The inside? They haven’t been able to figure out how to monetize these pageviews. So basically, [Microsoft] can take their pageviews [and] fire everyone. Maybe there’s some sales people you keep.” (source – and view video here).

I think this is spot-on. I believe the acquisition will cause a huge round of redundancies in Yahoo – their assets would be retained and the extra “baggage” of people removed, with key folks kept in place to either rip their minds of their emotional intelligence and/or align their thinking into the Microsoft mantra.

Microsoft is using the search dominance as a key reason for the take-over – a Microsoft/Yahoo combo would have 30% of the search market against Google’s current 60%. With such a large transaction this will make good sell to the regulatory bodies – equally I’m sure Google will point out all the other reasons why this would be bad (for them).

My view on the take-over then has shifted somewhat – I’m still in favour, but would look for reassurance that the things Yahoo is known and good at are not lost in a sea of MS services and thus lose their effectiveness (thinking Flickr particularly).

Google eyes up Yahoo and eyes down Microsoft

yahhh.jpgReuters reports that Google is now considering its’ position on acquiring Yahoo in light of Microsoft’s recent bid proposal, whilst “a second source close to Yahoo said it had received a procession of preliminary contacts by media, technology, telephone and financial companies.” (quotes Reuters).

Microsoft and Google are the true contenders here in my opinion; The other companies would be making strategy moves which would be of benefit to themselves in the sense they would rape and pillage Yahoo assets, leaving an empty husk that was once a revolutionary company (Netscape anyone?).

Google’s argument revolves around MS’s dominance in the browser and OS. Equally Google forgets that Yahoo being #2 to Google’s #1 in the Search service means that Microsoft gains there, whereas Google would get nothing new – of course they would absorb other services like Flickr and maybe integrate with YouTube (somehow), but I personally feel that MS would make best use of what they aquired.

That being said, we have to consider what happens to the brand; It’s a powerful brand right now – albeit not nearly as powerful as G or MS – if MS take over Yahoo they’re sure to wind down the branding, consolidate the IM services and tie everyone back to having a WindowsLive! ID – that’s not such a great thing.

IF Microsoft could somehow retain the independent feel to Yahoo whilst rolling up services back into the main corporate stream I think that would work pretty well in terms of consumer positioning – much like Google/YouTube. They (MS) also need to consider their strategy for webservices and web APIs – Google is rapidly pushing out new ones which are way ahead of anything I’ve seen out of Microsoft – this is where the power of Web 3.0 will come into play – more SOA with Web APIs, extended mashups and seemless intelligent services combined from many sources.

Google has started to make rumblings about this proposal (understandably); Ars Technica is covering this in an article – quote “It isn’t an understatement to say that Google apparently opposes this deal. Going for the jugular, Google’s Drummond instantly suggests that the Redmond giant could (would?) use unsavory tactics for unfair advantage, ultimately harming the Internet and the very open and innovative environment that’s driving it.”  This is the one concern I do share – that Microsoft will MS’ify all the services and close off systems so that you’re locked in to MS proprietary systems and components.

Why Microsoft taking over Yahoo could be a good thing

Microsoft Yahoo

Microsoft has been seen for many as the evil of the IT Industry. Its dominance in many of the markets is undeniable – from Operating Systems, Office software to Game Consoles, the company has come a long way since making QBasic for IBM.

In the last few years we have also seen the emergence of Google – what started as a reasonably simple search engine service now expands way beyond that. Google was long seen as the good guy to Microsoft’s corporate whore but times have changed and Google has now an expanded set of services which makes some think it’s also going the same way as MS.

In the meantime, Yahoo, who like Google started with search engine services, have rapidly expanded their business through acquisitions and strategies, bringing a wealth of services such as Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo Shopping and Flickr to name but a few. Now that news has hit that Microsoft is targeting Yahoo as an acquisition, some are wondering what this means for the market.

Microsoft needs to expand its’ business far more than it has in the last few years; equally Yahoo has started to become stagnant and recently announced 1,000 job layoff in restructuring. Meanwhile Google has been an unstoppable train that’s just getting bigger and bigger. With all that in mind, I think this merger/buyout would benefit many people – not just the Yahoo shareholders.

Yahoo has invested in some niche markets which Microsoft has largely avoided – (Flickr, Yahoo!UI), whilst Microsoft has the lead in OS/, Office, development languages and game consoles, but needs to build out it’s services more. With Yahoo in tow, I think MS could blend it’s Photosynth product with Flickr for starters. Imagine taking photos from your trip and merging them in some interactive experience with other people’s photographs to create a 3D type experience.

Without this combination of services, Google poses a significant threat to Microsoft and its’ market dominance – Google seems to have limitless capital to invest in new and improved services – look at Google Maps, GMail, Search, etc – they’re all market leaders that just continue to build more and more great functionality which MS/Yahoo find hard to compete against.

There is an outside player which I am interested to see how this pans out – Adobe. They’ve made some great products such as Photoshop, Premier, Flex, Flash, etc. These products are largely complementary to MS and Google – both would do well to incorporate Adobe products in their own product line… I predict Adobe WILL either be in the news before 2008 is out – either buying-out another company or being bought out…

LINK – Quick overview of MS and Yahoo services

UPDATE – More on this subject on a more recent post >