Thursday, May 1, 2008

Microsoft--Yahoo: If the Battle is ONLY About Price, the Game is Lost!

Today's WSJ reported that the negotiations (or non-discussions) between Microsoft and Yahoo is about the price.
On the basis of yesterday's (April 30) closing price, Microsoft's offer is about $29 but the rumor is that Steve B is willing to pay about $33 while major Yahoo shareholders are wanting in the range of $35-$37.
While mergers and acquisitions are always about the fair price, this is different. This is about the fundamental commitment from Yahoo managers to want to work with Microsoft to create a compelling alternative to Google and win. What I have not seen is any discussion of constructing new business models and changing the online advertising landscape. Instead, the news is about extracting higher value from Microsoft. In the absence of any credible alternative offer, Microsoft is not compelled to raise the price--especially if Steve B encounters a less than enthusiastic Yahoo workforce!
As I said before, walk way and see what overtures Yahoo makes.

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