Saturday, February 2, 2008

Why the deal WILL happen - Microsoft / Yahoo

One needs only to look back less than a year when News Corp made an unlikely bid for Dow Jones. The headlines flared. Is Murdoch serious?

Most of Dow Jones was controlled by one family who did NOT want to see the company sold, especially to Murdoch.

Enter stockholders and ... ugh ... profit ?

Murdoch offered a very significant premium over Dow Jones stagnant stock price. Ultimately, the Bancroft's (Ottaways, and a few others) respected a 'few' independent stockholders, started looking at the CASH, and the deal was done.

This deal is very similar in many ways. The stockholders of Yahoo! will green light it in a heartbeat. The EU may have a brief trauma with it but the FTC will probably go the way of 'they're essentially two different companies'.

There is some talk of a possible second or third bidder for Yahoo. Certainly there are a few private equity firms that could put the deal together but these are touchy times in the markets and it's doubtful that any of these companies would foot 44 billion, even as a combined effort.

With broadband e-mail names ('at' comcast, optonline, verizon others) quickly replacing a lot of 'at' Yahoo's, the hits to Yahoo's main page could decline. They probably are already. Yahoo's Flickr,, MyBlogLog (and others) are valuable properties that could have been monetized but really weren't.

Yahoo came along long before Google and MSN / Live search. Their innovation lagged, monetization was left to display ads and 'deals', an over-investment in content, an attempt but inability to create a viable competitor to Adsense .... etc.

Yahoo needs a rescue. It most likely will be Microsoft which poses the question ... Will they fix it, or absorb it and take it apart?

Enter AOL. Time Warner has to be going crazy that the bid wasn't for AOL. Should Google grab the content rich platform now? Do they need it?

Finally, Jim Cramer likes Microsoft / Yahoo deal.

That makes us wonder if we're right :)

... Finally: How many of you can remember when Yahoo looked like this ? (Click to enlarge).