Posted by: Staff | 04.10.2008

Clash of the Titans: Potential Yahoo! deal brings industry behemoths head-to-head

TOPH TUCKER ?08

Microsoft. Google. Time Warner. News Corp. Four of the biggest names in business; combined market cap of half a trillion dollars. And they?re all getting involved in the battle over troubled Internet giant Yahoo.

It started on February 1, when Microsoft announced an unsolicited $44.6 billion takeover bid for Yahoo. Since then, Yahoo has looked for every possible way out of the deal, but analysts agreed it was a waiting game. No white knight emerged, and Microsoft is now threatening to turn the bid hostile if Yahoo doesn?t accept quickly. They have refused to raise their bid, instead countering that, if anything, it would only go down.

By Wednesday, though, things seemed to be heating up. Yahoo entered into a limited trial run of a Google ad partnership, and late that night, the news broke that other deals may be looming. Specifically, Time Warner was mulling a deal that would combine AOL and Yahoo, while News Corp. was considering a joint bid with Microsoft. The latter coalition would potentially combine Yahoo, MSN, and MySpace into a single entity.

Whichever way the deal goes, it stands to dramatically shake up the Internet landscape. The fate of search, email, portal and instant messaging monopolies hangs in the balance. Yet any merger would be messy. Aside from the simple stuff?where employees go, which services are discontinued?each of these companies controls a huge amount of backend infrastructure that would have to be consolidated.

Everyone knew this was going to be fun; so far, it hasn?t disappointed. What remains to be seen is the quantitative effect on the marketplace.

Further reading:
MSNBC: Yahoo takeover battle takes dramatic twist
WSJ Article
Reuters Article
Marketwatch Article
Wikipedia Entry
Site Statistics

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