With the Microsoft-Yahoo related links on Techmeme now stretching to more than seven full screens as I type this — possibly the largest single thread ever in Techmeme history — I thought I would pare it down a little and focus on what in my opinion are some of the key posts when it comes to understanding and appreciating this deal (Note: I also did an audio slideshow for the Globe, in case anyone wants to take a listen). This selection is purely personal:
— Paul Kedrosky: the former analyst turned venture capitalist has posted multiple reactions to the deal, including an overview and some quick thoughts, as well as a primer for Jerry Yang on what to do if he doesn’t want to get bought. Also just posted a breakdown of traffic and market share for Yahoo and Microsoft vs. Google.
— All Things D: Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal says in her Boomtown blog that a Microsoft offer was inevitable, and that Yahoo made it inevitable by its continuing inability to focus and turn the ship around. Key quote:
“With itâ€™s I-shall-have-it bid for the troubled Internet giant, Microsoft has made a bold, slightly insane lunge to ensure that it is not sidelined in war with Google to control the Internet.”
— Search Engine Land: Editor Danny Sullivan, a search industry veteran, has some analysis of the deal and also has live-blogging notes from the conference call, and comparison of search engine market share. Key quote:
“The short story is this. Search is important, and Microsoft has failed to build much less maintain search share while Yahoo has held steady against Google.”
— Centernetworks: Allen Stern also live-blogged the news conference.
— TechCrunch: The tech blog has <a href="http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/02/01/what-would-a-combined-microsoft-yahoo-look-like/ a look at what a combined Yahoo and Microsoft would look like, as well as the internal email from Steve Ballmer to employees at Microsoft justifying the acquisition. Key quote:
“This is an advertising play for Microsoft. It wants to combine the scale of its recently acquired advertising networks with that of Yahoo’s, along with Yahoo’s vast consumer reach (which is appealing to advertisers, who see all those eyeballs as valuable inventory).”
— New York Times’s blog: Technology editor and blogger Saul Hansell says that it’s a deal Yahoo can’t refuse.
— IPDemocracy: Editor Cynthia Brumfield says the deal is big, but boring. Key quote:
“Yes, Yahoo! shareholders will get a hefty premium for their tanking shares. Yes, a bunch of people will get laid off if Microsoft achieves its “synergies” and “economies of scale.” Yes, a lot of investment bankers will walk away with enough funds to buy their second or third vacation homes.
Aside from that, a merger between Microsoft and Yahoo! is just boring. Neither company has done much that is terribly innovative or interesting for years. What, precisely, will merging these two lumbering, bureaucratic giants achieve that is even remotely interesting?”
— Silicon Alley Insider: Henry Blodgethas posted multiple looks at the deal, including one based on talks with a senior executive at Microsoft, who said Jerry Yang’s reaction was “polite.” There’s also a look at whether there will be other bids (doubtful, says Henry) and a rundown of the conference call as well as a look at the combined company’s financials and the views of some Wall Street analysts.
— Fred Wilson: Fred says a deal was almost inevitable. Key quote:
“We all knew this was coming. Yahoo! was cheap. Too cheap. And a mess. Rats were leaving the sinking ship en masse. It was not sustainable. Something had to happen. And so the most logical thing has now happened.”
— Forrester Research: Analyst Charlene Li has posted her thoughts on the deal. She says it’s going to be messy, and that it’s about more than just search.
— Search Engine Journal: Loren Baker says that Microsoft needs Yahoo’s strengths.
— Virtual Economics: Seamus McCauley, an analyst with Northcliffe Digital in London, says on his blog that even Microsoft and Yahoo combined might not be enough to take on Google.
— Scott Rosenberg: The co-founder of Salon.com also sees the sum as being worth less than the parts, and says if the deal closes a lot of smart people will likely leave Yahoo.
— ZDNet: Larry Dignan says that Google could play spoiler and bid for Yahoo too.