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Yahoo Rejects Another Bid From Microsoft, Icahn

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the is-that-your-final-answer dept.

Microsoft 119

Last night Yahoo rejected another offer for its search business from Microsoft and investor Carl Icahn. The proposal also included conditions that would have required the replacement of Yahoo's top management and board of directors. This is not the first time Icahn has pushed for such a measure. Quoting: "Yahoo said in rejecting the offer it told Microsoft it was willing to sell the entire company for at least $33 a share and its board believed such a deal could be negotiated and executed before its annual shareholders meeting on August 1. Yahoo said it also informed the software giant it remained willing to negotiate an 'improved search-only transaction.' Microsoft, however, rejected both offers, Yahoo stated."

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119 comments

Vlad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24171933)

It really starts to piss me off this continuously Yahoo bullsh!t.
Microsoft's cheesy attitude included. Be men and tell them to "fuck off".

Re:Vlad (4, Insightful)

florin (2243) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172019)

Jerry and his cronies clearly don't want them to fuck off. Look at them, they're now even setting a target for the deal at 33$ per share - which was already offered and rejected earlier. So they've resigned to a pyrrhic victory, and rightfully so, because they know Yahoo is an empty bubble of a company and a shitty buy even at the 23$ the share is supposedly worth right now. Microsoft should take their money and run.

Re:Vlad (2, Insightful)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172595)

Well, $40 was a negotiating position, they would probably have accepted a bit more than the offer. They also have a clear duty to the shareholders to extract the most than MS would pay.

There is also the risk involved in the deal. There is a very good chance that it would have been blocked by regulators, or only been allowed with conditions would have caused MS to walk away. Would regulators let the two biggest webmail providers combine? Let two major IM networks combine? Allow MS to buy out a promising competitor to Exchange? Allow two major portal sites to combine?

If the deal had been agreed and then blocked, Yahoo shareholders would have been left a lot worse off.

Re:Vlad...Would Regulators...? Well, YES..... (1)

darkPHi3er (215047) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175863)

"Would regulators let the two biggest webmail providers combine?"

YES, they would.

WHY? because neither MS nor Yahoo! make any real money off of webmail (sans ads, a tiny fraction of their expenditures on the services)

All free email from either company amounts to commercially is a HUGE CASH DRAIN and either/both would probably be GLAD to dump it, if the Regulators got some bad Acid and objected.

AND, there are a GOOGLE-PLEX (get it?) of other companies more than willing to step in and provide free email.

NO FINANCIAL IMPACT TO CONSUMERS, NO REGULATORS INTERFERENCE...

"Let two major IM networks combine?"

SEE ABOVE, but MORE SO....there are SO MANY COMPETING IM services around available immediately.

and IM has NO DIRECT FINANCIAL IMPACT ON THE CONSUMER MARKETPLACE (as "IM GIANT" AOL's DYING Balance Sheet will be glad to testify)

"Allow MS to buy out a promising competitor to Exchange?"

By promising competitor, you mean what 2,3 or 4% of the marketplace?

other than off-platform PC-based competitors like *NIX, the only competitor on the Windows platform to Exchange Server is.....the Next Generation of Exchange Server

Take a look at Blue's acquisition of Lotus Development, and its impact both on Domino and Notes, that should resolve that question nicely.

"Allow two major portal sites to combine?"

When did, by marketshare standards, NOT financial nor advertising outlay or marketing expenses, MS' search efforts become "major"? And was there some "Internet Antitrust Act", that make FREE services subject to government antitrust jurisdiction, i missed?

BTW, if not for default OS installations and PUSH upgrading, the current marketshare of MS' Search efforts would be next-to-invisible, instead of hardly visible and largely irrelevant. Which is WHY they want Y!

ALSO, in many peoples' opinions, it would be huge mistake for MS to acquire Y! and then submerge the partially damaged Yahoo! search INTO MS' DOA search system.

IF MS is half as smart as they tell everyone they are, they would operate Yahoo! at a distance and keep pouring $$$$$ and talent into Yahoo! brand. And try to bring Y! back from the brink where it is right now.

If they just think that they can combine the two companies search efforts, rebrand it as MS-Yahoo! or Yahoo!-MS, and then VOILA', they will have a Google-Killer...

WELLLL, you can combine a duck and a turkey, but you won't get a pony, let alone a racehorse...

Re:Vlad...Would Regulators...? Well, YES..... (1)

able1234au (995975) | more than 5 years ago | (#24176991)

Given the brand strength of Yahoo and Microsoft then it would make sense to label it MS-Yahoo! ...and yes, it would not be a google-killer

As a Yahoo mail user i would be tempted to switch but the cost of switching mail providers is high since so many people know your email address. I have had mine for a long time, probably not long after Yahoo started offering email. And google feels like another monopoly, so who do you choose? ISPs are ok, but my local one (ozemail) has been acquired once or twice so that address does not have a long life.

Probably simplest to use my own domain.

I hope yahoo stands firm (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#24171939)

This is about as hostile now as these types of deals get. Microsoft won't make an offer Yahoo's current board will accept so, they are openly asking shareholders to vote the current board out so they can replace it with one lead by Carl Icahn.

Investors are always looking at the short term these days so they will probably do it, which is dumb. I mean really, Microsoft is basically saying "Help us replace your board of directors with one sympathetic to us, oh and hey no worries we still make a purchase offer in your best interests."

I know one thing if I had any plans to hold Yahoo stock for past next few months I'd be voteing to keep the current board. I would probably be out numbered though by the guys who just want to keep the stock long enough that it looks like a deal will happen and the price runs up so they can then dump it before the specifics of the deal which would no doubt be favorable to Microsoft are revealed. With that in mind like many little investors I will probably have to jump on the bandwagon and get while the gettins good if the board is voted out. Yahoo its been nice knowing you but Wall Steet is going to sell you out for a quick cash grab.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (4, Interesting)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#24171997)

I mean really, Microsoft is basically saying "Help us replace your board of directors with one sympathetic to us, oh and hey no worries we still make a purchase offer in your best interests."

It is worse than that. MS is saying "replace your board of directors with a board especially appointed to sell the company to us".

The problem with that it that it rules out refusing to sell, which greatly weakens Yahoo's negotiating position - it is much harder to get a good price if the buyer knows you have to sell to them.

The current board should have sold at the higher price, but changing the board now will not help.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (2, Insightful)

Metaldsa (162825) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172013)

But the first board is tainted in a sense. $31 was a great deal. $33 was even better. Asking for $40 was just greedy and it bit them in the ass. Yahoo is a $19 stock and if investors want to make 50% return than they should sell off to MS. Icahn isn't going to get screwed over.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172199)

Yahoo is a $19 stock and if investors want to make 50% return than they should sell off to MS.

Yahoo isn't a $19 stock, and investors wouldn't make a 50% return.

It's a volatile stock which was at $31 three months prior to the Microsoft offer. The $19 price at the time when MS made its offer was unusually low, and I wouldn't be surprised if the SEC investigated events surrounding the the fall in Yahoo share value in the months leading up to the bid.

The purchase price for the search assets would also have been taxable, which means Yahoo would only have netted 70% of the offer's value. In reality, Microsoft's initial bid didn't appear to be a serious attempt to purchase - there's more to this game than a simple buyout.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172319)

there's more to this game than a simple buyout.

3's a crowd. Ballmer isn't interested in a buyout, they're not even buying Yahoo's market share in the traditional acquisition sense. What Ballmer is doing is eliminating the current number 2 player in web search^w^w the online ad market, a position that will automatically be filled by MSN. We already know what Ballmers game plan is, in his own words...

"Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google."

"Google's not a real company. It's a house of cards."

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (3, Interesting)

BillOfThePecosKind (1140837) | more than 5 years ago | (#24173171)

Ballmer should worry less about "Fucking Eric Schmidt" and more about making quality software. Even if they do succeed in tearing apart the competition (namely Yahoo), can they really afford Windows 7 to turn out like Vista? P.S. this is not a Vista jab, merely a question/observation.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 5 years ago | (#24177333)

Sorry to be pedantic, but Microsoft has basically given up on MSN at this point. They're now focusing on Microsoft Live Search.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (4, Interesting)

menace3society (768451) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172847)

I think the plan is to force out the directors, get them to hire new executives, and then act *shocked* when the SEC blocks the buyout. MS keeps its cash, Y! has been crippled beyond competition, investors lose.

I'm not sure if I should hate MS for this latest bout of evil, or love them for trying to pull a fast one on Icahn.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

oever (233119) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175275)

Mod parent up! This is very plausible. It's a way for Microsoft to kill Yahoo! for free.
Even if the SEC does not block it, Microsoft can still walk away after having replaced the board of a competitor with sock puppets. If shareholders go along with this, they're really dumb.

I wonder why Icahn is playing along with this. Maybe he simply cannot go back.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

Meski (774546) | more than 5 years ago | (#24177363)

Mod parent up! This is very plausible. It's a way for Microsoft to kill Yahoo! for free.

I'd be happy to see Yahoo! gone. All those useless searches from Google pointing into Yahoo sites gone? What's not to like about that?

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24177919)

maybe because in the real world we don't wear tin foil hats and look for conspiracy theories under every rock. Especially when it is plainly obvious MS needs yahoo's content market and that icahn is out for profit. Of course people like yourself can sit back and think MS and Icahn care more about destroying a somewhat "has been" competitor than making money.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24177783)

Yahoo isn't a $19 stock, and investors wouldn't make a 50% return.

It's a volatile stock which was at $31 three months prior to the Microsoft offer. The $19 price at the time when MS made its offer was unusually low, and I wouldn't be surprised if the SEC investigated events surrounding the the fall in Yahoo share value in the months leading up to the bid.

The purchase price for the search assets would also have been taxable, which means Yahoo would only have netted 70% of the offer's value. In reality, Microsoft's initial bid didn't appear to be a serious attempt to purchase - there's more to this game than a simple buyout.

Where did you dig this BS up from, Yahoo were at $31 for a few days at peak when the stock market was going silly, apart from that particular week in history yahoo have been a $18-$25 stock with prospects to sink lower. Apart from that one week last year they have not looked like a $30+ company since prior to july 06.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (4, Informative)

CTachyon (412849) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174645)

The otherwise farfetched-but-partially-plausible article that Slashdot ran last week [techuser.net] had one thing very right: there's no logical reason to believe, based on YHOO's performance over the year prior to Microsoft's first offer, that $19 was anything but a temporary low blip before Microsoft swooped in like a vulture at just the right moment to make their takeover bid look more impressive.

The average YHOO stock price over the preceding year [tinyurl.com] was (eyeballing here) roughly $27 per share, with a general slight downward trend but still high enough that a linear fit would still predict a price around $23-$25 (again, eyeballing) at the time of Microsoft's first public offer. When you compare YHOO to NASDAQ over that same year [tinyurl.com], it becomes obvious that the timing of YHOO's ups and downs had much more to do with volatility and emotions on NASDAQ (and the larger oil-credit-bear global stock market) than it did with news regarding Yahoo itself. The buys and sells, modulo the bump-and-slump after the layoff announcement on Jan 21, clearly aren't due to new information about Yahoo's fundamentals as a company, so it seems fairly reasonable that the $19 share price (which lasted for a mere 2 days) wouldn't have lasted any longer than the wait for the next ephemeral upward bump in the NASDAQ. (Not that YHOO would've outperformed NASDAQ, necessarily, but it quite likely would've be back to the $21-$23 range soon enough, and possibly higher.)

When you combine this information, it makes Microsoft's $31 deal look much more like a lowball number that it does at first glance, and makes it quite clear that Yahoo's board was reasonable to perceive it as such, even if it turns out they were wrong in the final analysis.

In addition, for most of the last 5 years, YHOO has traded $25 or higher, and sometimes as high as $40. Traders who bought YHOO as a long-term tech investment when it was $25 or higher -- likely the majority of YHOO shareholders -- would've been treated to a much less impressive return in the MS deal, or even a loss depending on the original buy price. For them, the MS deal could easily be beaten by simple share appreciation over 5 to 10 years if Yahoo just manages to get its house in order, even if it's merely to be a more solid runner-up behind Google. Yahoo is, after all, #2 overall and #1 in certain markets when it comes to search, and they own Overture, the only company that's been doing online text ad auctions for longer than Google, so they clearly have the potential for a turnaround. This whole Microsoft fiasco might be the kick in the pants they needed to make it actually happen.

So, in the long analysis for all those investors who bought before YHOO reached $19, it's not even remotely a guarantee that they would've been happy with Microsoft's $31 numbers, or that they're upset the Microsoft deal fell through on the terms that it did. Anyone who says "I poached YHOO at $19 and got ripped off because I didn't get my 63% return" is a moron short-term gambler who deserves to get burned.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172119)

No, just because you hate Microsoft does not mean that they could return a better profit then the Yahoo board. If track record is anything to go by, then, from a business point of view, getting in a MSFT appointed board is the best thing they can do.

Hating Microsoft does not *make* Microsoft a bad business proposition. Let's try to make a token effort to separate MS hatery from investment analysis.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172219)

> If track record is anything to go by, then, from a business point of view, getting in a MSFT appointed board is the best thing they can do.

Well, it depends on if you have a soul...

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (2, Insightful)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172549)

Where exactly does MS hating come into my argument?

MS does not seem to be anything like as well run under Ballmer as it used to be my Bill Gates.

In addition, it is not in MS's interests for Yahoo to be well run as an independent entity. MS wants to buy Yahoo, or bits of it, as cheaply as possible.

The cleverest thing for MS to do at this point would be to keep the uncertainty going for as long as possible, cause as much disruption as possible, watch the price fall and aim to buy selected bits (the search engine, at least) as cheaply as possible.

In other words, it is precisely because I think MS is competent, that I think a board chosen by MS would be a bad thing for Yahoo.

Once MS buy, they might well return a better profit than the current Yahoo board. That is another matter entirely. Personally I doubt it, because big takeovers rarely work out well.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

Meski (774546) | more than 5 years ago | (#24177383)

Where exactly does MS hating come into my argument?

MS does not seem to be anything like as well run under Ballmer as it used to be my Bill Gates.

Ballmer is to Gates, as Sculley is to Jobs

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

Escogido (884359) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174125)

It is worse than that. MS is saying "replace your board of directors with a board especially appointed to sell the company to us".

Since that (being sold to MS) is the best thing that Yahoo can do, there's really not much difference whether the new board is 'especially appointed to sell' or not. Whatever board there is, they *have* to sell - at least if they respect the approach that they have to act in shareholders' interests.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (4, Informative)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172015)

>I know one thing if I had any plans to hold Yahoo stock for past next few months I'd be voteing to keep the current board.

Well then you are a bad investor. And you are damming Wallstreet without even knowing the entire story.

Have you looked at the bottom line of Yahoo lately? Read their cashflow statements maybe? If you had then you would be furious since Yahoo is doing a good job of screwing itself into the ground.

Yeah I made some money buying Puts when the Microsoft Yahoo deal was announced. I knew Yahoo was too damm stupid for its own good. The problem Yahoo has is that it has some great properties, but it can't monetize those properties. That's why Yahoo is executing way under its potential.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (4, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172111)

I am not daming them at all. I am simply stateing the trend the past few months has been to go for the quick cash. I think that has a great deal to do with all the uncertainty right now.

I also think your wrong. Yahoo is an established internet company with a wide range of services. They are number two in search and not likely to be pushed out of that position by anyone else out there right now. If you look at Yahoo historically before all the Microsoft Hubub started you'd see their stock prices tracks the index by and large. Yahoo is not just a search company they are a media company. I think there is a long term slow growth value play in Yahoo is Microsoft is run off.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (4, Interesting)

wan-fu (746576) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172203)

But that's exactly the problem: Yahoo is a media company. Good media companies are able to generate plenty of good content at the lowest cost. At the same time, good media companies do a good job monetizing their content, whether through advertising, subscriptions, value-add, etc.

Yahoo does a poor job doing both. They have tons of content creators and developers working on each property. For example, Yahoo! Finance has roughly 700 people working on that aspect of the portal alone. Yahoo's efforts with Panama are a failure and they have trouble monetizing their search.

I think their poor use of resources and inability to monetize efficiently points at poor execution. Add on top of that the fact that Yang has not changed much since Semel shows that the company is continuing it's downward march.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172267)

Ok, spelling Nazi here. I just can't take it anymore.

When a verb ending in e is changed to the -ing form you REMOVE the e.

Stating
Voting

Thank you.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

Hangtime (19526) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172301)

Quick cash? Stock hasn't done anything in four years. Company has tracked the SP500 for the last year (both down 18%). Buy the SP500 at least you get the diversification.

YHOO got rid of that media company strategy when Terry Simel left. YHOO is now hooked its wagon to search and the overseas assets. BTW, Yang is selling the only way to monetize his search to GOOG. Who cares if YHOO is 1st, 2nd, or 7th in search if GOOG is the one selling the advertising. YHOO with the sell is doomed to average returns and will be no better then the average blog. The company had an opportunity to be the gatekeeper of the Internet and that has passed to GOOG. This should be your most damning evidence that its not about what's best for the company its what's best for Jerry Yang and his ego.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172315)

I am not daming them at all. I am simply stateing the trend the past few months has been to go for the quick cash. I think that has a great deal to do with all the uncertainty right now.

Yes you were, short term investors. No such a thing. Investors will price a stock on a future value and risk, period. The statement of short term just shows you displeasure in Yahoo valuation - nothing more.

I also think your wrong. Yahoo is an established internet company with a wide range of services. They are number two in search and not likely to be pushed out of that position by anyone else out there right now. If you look at Yahoo historically before all the Microsoft Hubub started you'd see their stock prices tracks the index by and large. Yahoo is not just a search company they are a media company. I think there is a long term slow growth value play in Yahoo is Microsoft is run off.

Yahoo is a mature company, not a venture start up. MAKE SOME MONEY or watch the stock drop. Many investors got burned on the dot-com hype. Cheap talk, no results is a lower stock price. For me, Yahoo financials suck, over valued. They should have sold, as it isn't often you get a company like Micro$oft willing to pay that kid of cash for a company that has more or less peeked.

Company makes money (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24175637)

shareholders get a slice.

It's only stupid practice that says you MUST INCREASE.

Think about it.

If a company must increase profits each year, at some point they have to pick one or more of:

1) Increase prices
2) Decrease costs (sack people)
3) Increase market share

Increase prices won't work in a commodity world. Sacking people (which is the only long term solution to costs) means there are fewer people who can buy what you're selling. And increasing market share is nearly impossible (without killing off your competition) for mature companies.

The company is still profitable.

You shareholders still get a slice of that.

Like it or lump it.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24176257)

...has more or less PEEKed.

Well then I guess they're POKEd!

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172355)

Do you know why Yahoo!'s share price is dropping? Probably because it has something to do with MS's predatory practices. They're bad for investors, I guess. And if MS gobbles up Yahoo!, they'll just be part of a company that's leveling off and will probably soon start trailing off. I guess if you want that, you must be a bad investor too!

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (4, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172445)

The problem Yahoo has is that it has some great properties, but it can't monetize those properties.

And Microsoft would do any better? Have you looked at how badly Microsoft's own on-line efforts have been going? Microsoft doesn't know what they are doing, and they'd run Yahoo into the ground even faster.

Yahoo should have taken Microsoft's money and run, but afterwards, Microhoo would have failed as surely as Microsoft and Yahoo are failing separately.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172457)

Well then you are a bad investor. And you are damming Wallstreet without even knowing the entire story.

Have you looked at the bottom line of Yahoo lately? Read their cashflow statements maybe? If you had then you would be furious since Yahoo is doing a good job of screwing itself into the ground.

Hehe, so basically.

1. Having a golden goose.
2. Golden egg goose doesn't bring as many golden eggs lately.
2. Kill goose and see what's inside and work from there.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172535)

Have you looked at the bottom line of Yahoo lately? Read their cashflow statements maybe? If you had then you would be furious since Yahoo is doing a good job of screwing itself into the ground.

I'm tempted to short both MSFT and YHOO the day the deal is done and throw the money into Oil and Euro ETFs.

The problem with modern investing is that money (and lots of it) can be made by simply determining the emotional behavior of investors and market trends rather than cold hard financial facts.

Did Oil supply decrease and demand increase magically the day that Iran test fired a missile?

No, but the price jumped to its highest record to date.

Same with this Yahoo and Microsoft deal. I have a lingering suspicion that Icahn is going to burn the company for all its worth and there might be crowd of shorters that will tank the company as soon as they smell blood when the long term holders dump their holdings and the last one to sell is going to get his ass hit by the door on the way out.

Of course since Microsoft is the one using its own funny money for the deal instead of cash which will obviously dilute MSFT share price which will be a gain for MSFT shorters there as well.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174777)

Have you looked at the bottom line of Yahoo lately? Read their cashflow statements maybe?

Yeah, I have. And they're pretty dammed impressive. They've got good cashflow, nice margins, and decent profits.
 

If you had then you would be furious since Yahoo is doing a good job of screwing itself into the ground.

I'm only furious because too many folks claim they've looked at the balance sheets - and then repeat (groundlessly) the analysts party line.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24177833)

Yeah, I have. And they're pretty dammed impressive. They've got good cashflow, nice margins, and decent profits.
I'm only furious because too many folks claim they've looked at the balance sheets - and then repeat (groundlessly) the analysts party line.

What the hell planet do you live on, they have a net profit margin south of 7%, they have sub 10% sales growth and a P/E ratio of 31. That is not bad, it is almost alarm bells the ship is sinking time, it says at $19 it would still be overpriced. man if you think those numbers are good then you are going to be one disasterous investor.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24176679)

After seeing your comment, I looked at their financials and while they don't look particularly good, I would not charactererize them as screwing themselves into the ground. Revenues are growing and they are have been consistently profitable.

From the financials and some of their announcements, its pretty clear that Yahoo is betting that heavy investment in their ad management platform and new products at the cost of near term profits is going to make them more competitive in the long run. I suspect that this is a consequence of Jerry Yang becoming CEO - he decided to make some big bets. Will it pay off? Only time will tell. But this approach makes more sense than staying the course with middling revenue and income growth.

I think its a little early to be calling Yahoo "damm stupid". Even grand master Steve Jobs himself took longer to turn Apple around. To expect more from a mere mortal like Jerry Yang seems unrealistic.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24178163)

Dude, you don't know what a "cashflow" statement is.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172087)

The current board previously rejected an offer higher than the one that they are now asking Microsoft to accept. Apparently because they thought they were awesome, as nothing else makes any sense.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

conark (871314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172177)

well, the other thing i don't know if people had looked at is that it's only been a year since Terry Semel got canned. I blame a lot of Yahoo's stagnation when Semel took charge. He really didn't have any clue about the internet and so the innovative nature in Yahoo at one time went down quickly. Worse yet, they bought out duplicate services or even avoided great buys while Semel was in charge. Also, people for some reason think that the recent departures of all the execs are alarming. I'm probably in the minority in believing this "house cleaning" is a great thing. I mean, if you think about it, these execs who are leaving were probably the same people who allowed Yahoo to stagnate. So seeing them flee for higher grounds means hopefully that more motivated people underneath can rise to the occasion (if Jerry and Co allow such a reorganization to take place). I think the company needs to be re-structured and given about 2-3 years (from today) to rebuild. It's dead obvious that M$ + Yahoo = bad for the market. But something like this needs a fair amount of time to get new strategy and see how things go. Some of the more recent affairs look enticing such as Search Monkey, BOSS or their mentioned Apps platform. They definitely need more of that. However, with those situations, it'll take a fair amount of time before applications start rolling in and Yahoo can see any true benefit to this strategy, imo. The most unfortunate part is the antsy shareholders who look at their pennies rather than the whole picture. Well hopefully those people lose out no matter what.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (1)

Hangtime (19526) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172187)

So who are short-term investors and what do you classify as being short-term? Let's say for instance you purchased your YHOO stock four years ago what would be your reward for your efforts? Well the SP500 would have gone up 10% (which is pretty weak) and your YHOO stock would be worth 30% less. In fact, you would not have seen positive territory since Jan 2006. Let's say you believe Jerry Yang has it right and will take you to the promise land. Well he has at least kept pace with the SP500 both are down roughly 18% since his 2nd tenure at YHOO began in June 2007. Of course if you had invested in GOOG when Yang came on board you would be up 10%.

Re:I hope yahoo stands firm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174305)

You already voted against the current board by not holding on to your Yahoo stock.

So your posture is a tad unconvincing...

Back Pocket (5, Insightful)

mrbill1234 (715607) | more than 5 years ago | (#24171957)

Icahn is only interested in his back pocket, not the interest of shareholders, or the employees of Yahoo. He is acting like a little child because he can't get his way.

Re:Back Pocket (Yahoo not worth a penny) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24171989)

There is all this rage and fluff about Yahoo, like they are some kind of great company. Just leave them alone, they are one of the first failures of the big internet sites/portals/whatever. Anyone can make another Yahoo, why buy it up? Start something better from scratch that is exciting and watch the employees slowly leave Yahoo. People seem to forget that the comany is not a person (Even if it's incorporated), if it's the people they are after, well compete and win them over. All this buying of internet companies is complete nonsense. You CAN and WILL do better than that dinosaur Yahoo if you TRY. Anyone can creat a fucking WEB SITE for God's sake.

Re:Back Pocket (Yahoo not worth a penny) (3, Interesting)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172159)

All this buying of internet companies is complete nonsense. You CAN and WILL do better than that dinosaur Yahoo if you TRY. Anyone can creat a fucking WEB SITE for God's sake.

But as far as I know, nobody has yet found a way of making monry from a search site that doesn't involve one particular patent, which Yahoo just happens to own.

Re:Back Pocket (Yahoo not worth a penny) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172453)

So around $40 billion for exclusive rights to a patent! Let me get my notepad out.

What Patent??... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24176807)

... and does that include Google?? Is it the text ads? I mean do they have to pay for some kind of license or something?? If so I wonder how much that has to do with all this... I mean Microsoft would love to get some heavy leverage like that over Google.

Re:Back Pocket (Yahoo not worth a penny) (1)

BeBoxer (14448) | more than 5 years ago | (#24177291)

But as far as I know, nobody has yet found a way of making monry from a search site that doesn't involve one particular patent, which Yahoo just happens to own.

If you are talking about Patent 6,269,361 mentioned in a later post, I'm pretty sure that Google would argue that they do know how to make money without that patent. Patent 6,269,361 is a patent for "how to let people pay you to give crappy search results" and is probably who Yahoo is now #2 and sinking instead of #1 where they used to be. Quite simply, being a good search engine is not compatible with selling search placement.

Re:Back Pocket (Yahoo not worth a penny) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172477)

Starting from scratch (e.g., YouTube, Filckr) works in a NEW business, but starting a search engine from scratch, with formidable competition already out there, is not an easy way to get into business at this time -- especially if you want huge revenues like Microsoft wants with very short lead time.

In this case, even more importantly, MS is after the YAHOO! brand name and reputation, in addition to the search technology, and potentially, its (non-tech-savvy) customers. Another factor is that is it a masquerade for MS with a non-MS brand that is well known. With them turning into an anti-Midas, I am not sure this will help MS in the long run, but like The Economist pointed out long ago, many deals are done out of Executive Boredom. Since MS started the fight and Ballmer got his ego involved, he will likely have to go if this deal doesn't get done in some form.

Re:Back Pocket (3, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#24171999)

Icahn is only interested in his back pocket, not the interest of shareholders, or the employees of Yahoo.

Of course he is. But... so are the board of Yahoo. Don't dare look to them as doing the right thing.

Yahoo is a dead company. It's going one way or the other, it's only a question of when. It's better for Yahoo to get it over with quickly in the interests of the employees, and those customers who have not already jumped ship.

Yahoo has never given a shit about its customers, its employees, nor much in the way of ethics (China, as one example). The sooner Yahoo dies the better for everyone.

BSD is dead (2, Funny)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172659)

Didn't you hear? BSD is dead--- it died decades ago way before it became the foundation of Mac OS X: the #1 unix distribution.

Yahoo is #2 and that doesn't mean they are dead. The market is doing poorly not just Yahoo; even if they are not making as much as they should be Yahoo is literally just an idea or two from improvement (and we all know Microsoft isn't the place for profitable ideas; their SEC filings show they are entirely dependent on their TWO overpriced monopoly product lines.)

Re:BSD is dead (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 5 years ago | (#24173381)

The point is Microsoft has something to fall back on to keep their other assets afloat.

Yahoo is at a dead end and no other markets to really pull them out of this hole that Google hasn't already conquered or that is in beta, it is holding onto a legacy audience who are much like the AOL audience

I always say to the Yahoo defenders these days, put your money where your mouth is and invest in their stocks. Yahoo has not really 'Yahoo'd!!' me into getting into their products or services. Sorry just cold hard truth.

Re:Back Pocket (5, Insightful)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172017)

Icahn is only interested in his back pocket, not the interest of shareholders, or the employees of Yahoo.

Well, Icahn is a shareholder in yahoo. And I would be surprised to find out the other shareholders are not interested in "their backpockets".

Now, I agree that the whole thing sucks for yahoo's employees. But that's the way the system works. It's called capitalism because the capital controls the system, not employeeism. Within the bounds of this system, Icahn has a perfectly valid point: He thinks Microsoft is offering a great deal to Yahoo's shareholders, and since Yahoo's board has to answer to the shareholders (and only the shareholders), he thinks they are not doing their job well.

Honestly: Jerry Wang is as rich as he is because he sold his company to outside investors (by going public). He can't cry foul now that they want to act out their control over the company he sold them.

Re:Back Pocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174219)

> Well, Icahn is a shareholder in yahoo. And I would be surprised to find out the other shareholders are not interested in "their backpockets".

He bought a stake AFTER he heard about the deal for the express purpose of forcing them into the deal.

I don't see how it can even be legal for Microsoft to buy up marketshare like that to extend its monopoly into a new market, but I'm not a government regulator, either.

Re:Back Pocket (2, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175183)

"He thinks Microsoft is offering a great deal to Yahoo's shareholders,..."

There is no basis of fact for this statement. Right now, it isn't clear (given the discussion) whether it is best for Yahoo's shareholders or for Carl Icahn.

My own belief is that Icahn is only interested in Icahn. He's not a young man. He thinks short term, but he's certainly not the only one and sometimes it makes sense to think short term. I do not believe this is one of those times. A good management could make Yahoo again a rising force. I'm not convinced Yang is that management. However, I do not believe Microsoft is that management either. Icahn certainly is not.

(in my opinion again) let's consider what Icahn actually is. Is he a technophobe? I see no evidence. His track record is basically acting like a vulture. He sees companies he thinks are undervalued, for whatever reason even if he does not understand the reason, calculates what chance he has of selling the company to an entity who will give him a decent return were he to buy enough stake in the company to make that happen, and then decides what to do. Is this the man who has the best interest in Yahoo, their shareholders , and last but apparently least here, their employees? I think not.

Gerry

Re:Back Pocket (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 5 years ago | (#24176151)

You're absolutely right.  We should sell every public company on Wall Street for a quick profit _now_, and without regard to the consequences if all those companies fail as a result.

The problem with unrestrained capitalism is this extreme short sitedness, when the world will (hopefully) continue on beyond the next quarter--and we're all going to still need to make a living then.  And if people don't have jobs, you have a shantytown ghetto outside the gates of your mansion.

And who wants that?

Re:Back Pocket (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#24178251)

I call those people "slash and burn" CEOs/shareholders.

You see lots of people saying bad things about people/countries who burn or chop down forests to put plantations/property/livestock on them.

But even that sort of thing is a lot longer term than the next quarter.

Oh yeah maybe in the long run global warming will kill us. But in the long run we are all dead. And in the next few hundred years, what are the odds we'd work out a way to survive off this planet in a _sustainable_ way before killing ourselves or be killed by something beyond our control? As a long term investor are you willing to bet on that? Nobody is working on space stations with artificial "gravity", NASA are only working on survivable short term missions (to moon, mars).

If no, then it should be no surprise if some people think the best plan is the short term gain one.

All our eggs are in a basket that is in a bad shape. So many rational people understandably think that the best decision for them is "eat, drink, be merry for tomorrow we die".

A sufficiently big mansion could hide that shanty town well and long enough. Lots of rich dictators in Myanmar and other countries appear to think that way. Lots of CEOs think that way - and their "mansions" may not even be in the same countries as the shanty towns they create.

Re:Back Pocket (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 5 years ago | (#24178295)

I would advise against speaking about Icahn as if he were a long-time investor in YHOO. He only becomes interested in companies if there's an opportunity to conquer the board of directors and steering the company in a direction that makes him the most money. It's like a pump-and-dump scam, only slow enough that the regulators don't notice. Carl Icahn only started massively buying YHOO stock when they turned down MSFT's offer.

Dear Microsoft (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24171973)

Buying Yahoo! doesn't equal to buying the user marketshare. If you buy Yahoo! a lot of users are going to go elsewhere.

The same goes for everything else you buy/acquire/copy.

Re:Dear Microsoft (3, Informative)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172179)

Re:Dear Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24177069)

A fucking patent? That's ridiculous.

Re:Dear Microsoft (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172229)

If by "a lot" you mean the small fraction of geeks who give a shit, sure. However, if by "a lot" you mean the 99+% of other completely clueless users they have, you are delusional. Most of them will just keep using the service until it dies.

Re:Dear Microsoft (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#24176387)

Yes,but you seem to forget that the clueless users are also nearly always running IE without any adblocking. Have you seen what MSN looks like without adblocking? EEEEK! Good luck trying to find anything under all that crap. Just for sh*ts and giggles I unblocked IE from my firewall and tried both Yahoo and MSN using IE6,since most clueless users don't really update/upgrade IE(as a PC repairman I know this is all too true,which is why I give my customers FF or Seamonkey),while Yahoo worked just fine,a little bloated towards TV content but okay,MSN had THREE hard scripting errors and was flashing and blinking so much crap that if I had epilepsy I would have been in trouble.

And while I currently have my FF set to use Yahoo search(just like the layout better than Google) as long as MSFT just gets the search and YHOO stays afloat I'll be happy. I'll just switch my search to someone else and keep using my Yahoo mail. What worries me more is if MSFT buys the whole thing. Then Yahoo Mail gets turned into another Hotmail(EEEW!) and those of us who like having folders instead of everything laid out like chat sessions will be boned. I suppose if that happens I'll have to contact my ISP about buying more mail accounts and go back to the old downloading the mail way of doing things. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

Re:Dear Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172253)

True, that. At least the tech community that may still be using Yahoo! I remember an old post here that said it right "Microsoft is turning into a regular anti-Midas" turning everything it touches into crud (or worse).

Re:Dear Microsoft (1)

oldenuf2knowbetter (124106) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172629)

That anti-Midas ability is correctly known as the "Bandini Touch".

Named after a Southern California fertilizer company which used the radio and TV advertising slogan "Bandini is the name for steer manure" spoken in provocative tones by a female voice. The company also ran TV spots featuring a skier attempting to make a run down a huge pile of processed manure with the slogan "Ski Bandini Mountain". Great fun.

The "Bandini Touch" is the ability to turn into shit everything you contact.

Re:Dear Microsoft (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174631)

Named after a Southern California fertilizer company which used the radio and TV advertising slogan "Bandini is the name for steer manure" spoken in provocative tones by a female voice.

Unbelievable, but true. You didn't cite a reference, but ... http://www.newspaperarchive.com/LandingPage.aspx?type=glp&search=bandini%20is%20the%20name%20for%20steer%20manure&img= [newspaperarchive.com]\\na0021\2876174\15005184_clean.html
my eyes aren't good enough to see the ad on the tiny image, but I presume some of you younger folk can spot it.

I think you mean... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24173723)

Ray Bostock: Governor Icahn, I should have expected to find you holding Balmer's leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought onboard.
Carl Icahn: Charming to the last. You don't know how hard I found it, signing the order to terminate your employment.
Ray Bostock: I'm surprised you had the courage to take the responsibility yourself.
Carl Icahn: Chairman Bostock. Before your termination, you will join me at a ceremony that will make this search engine operational. No users will dare abandon Microsoft now.
Ray Bostock: The more you tighten your grip, Icahn, the more users will slip through your fingers.
Carl Icahn: Not after we demonstrate the power of this search engine. In a way, you have determined the choice of the website that is to be spidered first. Since you are reluctant to provide us with the parameters of the search algorithm, I have chosen to test this engine's destructive power on your home system of Yahoo.
Ray Bostock: No! Yahoo is peaceful, we have no weapons. You can't possibly...

Re:Dear Microsoft (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174535)

Buying Yahoo! doesn't equal to buying the user marketshare. If you buy Yahoo! a lot of users are going to go elsewhere.

I see this was moderated "-1 I don't like what you're saying". It doesn't make it any less true.

Indeed, Microsoft astroturfers have taken over slashdot.

I'm not a Microsoft "hater", I just don't care. I'm O/S agnostic only so far as if it was based on Ken Thompson's work in the 60's and 70's. Computer software and particularly web sites should work with any O/S + browser and when they don't, I give them the finger and go elsewhere. Sadly, Yahoo! has been going towards being a Microsoft-only oriented site for some time now. Whatever, they obviously don't care very much about us folk who prefer a Unix derivative solution.

End game's near (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24171977)

So far Yahoo seems to have come down a bit on the price, and Microsoft (and now, Icahn) seem to have more or less stuck to the offer -- hard to tell because it was a stock + cash offer and MS stock has declined after the offer was made. If they make a $33 all cash offer or something very close to it in the next couple of weeks, the deal may still get done pending regulatory approval. If the offer is any less, there will likely be a proxy fight and stockholder vote in early August to decide the fate of Yahoo board and its future. [The higher offer of $47.5B details still remain a bit of a mystery from early May -- with current Yahoo demands seemingly at $45.4B.]

This is getting more interesting to watch, since people are getting their egos involved. Microsoft team gave Yahoo only 24 hours to consider the latest proposal, which appears too short for a complex transaction, even assuming Yahoo had a chance to think through at least *parts of it* earlier. The current Yahoo position seems reasonable, since the deal will take time and MS team wants the Yahoo board and upper management fired NOW.

POPCORN TIME!

In a statement issued Saturday night, Yahoo said Microsoft imposed the "completely absurd and irresponsible" condition that it wouldn't deal with, or otherwise engage with, Yahoo's management to reach agreement on the new proposal. ... In response to Microsoft's latest overtures, Roy Bostock, Yahoo's chairman said in a statement: "This odd and opportunistic alliance of Microsoft and Carl Icahn has anything but the interests of Yahoo's stockholders in mind." "It is ludicrous to think that our Board could accept such a proposal," Mr. Bostock said. "While this type of erratic and unpredictable behavior is consistent with what we have come to expect from Microsoft, we will not be bludgeoned into a transaction that is not in the best interests of our stockholders."- WSJ

And although Yahoo's board "acknowledges that the current proposal contains a number of improvements over Microsoft's earlier proposal," the Yahoo board's believed this latest proposal is not in its shareholders best interests.- CNET

``Carl Icahn and Microsoft presented us with a `take it or leave it' proposal,'' Chairman Roy Bostock said in the statement.
- Bloomberg

_srr

Borg Gate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172001)

I think its time to replace the Borg Gate icon with a Orger Ballmer

I am just so sick (1)

pooh666 (624584) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172051)

of hearing about this crap... We are owned, and we are being more owned. Can't we just post pictures of some nice butterflies?

Definition of Insanity (4, Interesting)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172057)

Microsoft had tens of billions of dollars and their usual way of doing things drove MSN into the ground. Why do they think that their usual way to of doing things combined with a Microsoft-owned Yahoo will yield a different result?

Re:Definition of Insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172665)

Yes they have obviously also driven Office, Windows desktop, Windows Server 2008 and many other products.

It all depends how you look at it through the looking glass and want to cherry pick.

Re:Definition of Insanity (3, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#24173247)

Microsoft had tens of billions of dollars and their usual way of doing things drove MSN into the ground.

References, please?

Re:Definition of Insanity (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174119)

Well, I suppose if Microsoft follows the no-competition ideal, then I suppose "not being on the top" is a failure. That's based only on opinion though.

Comparison of google.com, yahoo.com, live.com and msn.com: http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/google.com?site0=google.com&site1=yahoo.com&site2=live.com&site3=msn.com&y=r&z=3&h=300&w=610&c=1&u%5B%5D=google.com&u%5B%5D=yahoo.com&u%5B%5D=live.com&u%5B%5D=msn.com&x=2008-07-13T18%3A35%3A29.000Z&check=www.alexa.com&signature=7VFjfS3SF3e6AwQvnDgu53bfAmk%3D&range=max&size=Medium [alexa.com]

Re:Definition of Insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24175769)

Yeah, grandparent seems to be under the delusion that MSN ever took off...

Incredible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172075)

Silly Yahoo. The market is crashing all around them, and they still think their day of $500 a share will return.

Can't wait... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172137)

I'm not sure which is getting to be more tedious -- this crap, or the Presidential elections. Maybe the MS-Yahoo merger is supposed to be this year's "October Surprise?"

the way I see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24172169)

Yeah! We don't want Microsoft to buy us! Yeah! We do want Microsoft to buy us! Yeah! We don't want Microsoft to buy us! Repeat this for another 6/7 months

Stand up for what you believe (2, Interesting)

Monoliath (738369) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172245)

It's nice to see at lease ONE company with a backbone.

It's not always about money you know...sometimes it's about ethics and integrity.

Microsoft is a slimy, deceptive piece of shit, Yahoo seems to have some thread of moral fiber to them. I don't blame them for continuously giving Microsoft the proverbial finger when it comes to these buyout deals.

I for one...would never buy another yahoo product, if Microsoft was to take ownership of them.

Re:Stand up for what you believe (3, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172343)

At least you read the headline. If you read the summary, you will see that the Yahoo! board offered to sell the company to Microsoft for $33 a share. I guess someone could twist that into giving them the finger, but I wouldn't.

Re:Stand up for what you believe (1)

X3J11 (791922) | more than 5 years ago | (#24172421)

At least you read the headline. If you read the summary, you will see...

Obligatory "you must be new here", in spite of your low uid.

Re:Stand up for what you believe (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 5 years ago | (#24173353)

Low user id? Heh... I guess when you've got a 790000 series id number, a 22000 series id would seem "low"... ;-)

Re:Stand up for what you believe (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24173463)

Yeah, I don't think of it as low. At this point, lower, but not low.

Re:Stand up for what you believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24173537)

pwnd!

Re:Stand up for what you believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24173489)

it's about ethics

it's about what? is that near suthics?

Mark My Words $42 Billion (1)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174507)

I think they are going for either $42/share or $42 Billion. Wonder what the total would be for per share, or what the share price would be for $42 Billion?

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