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Microsoft Sets Three Week Deadline for Yahoo! In Public Letter

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the little-note-from-me-to-you dept.

Microsoft 175

An anonymous reader writes "In a letter sent today, Microsoft writes to Yahoo's board of directors to tell them that they would like to 'negotiate a definitive agreement on a combination of our companies.' Their message is a combination of friend and foe: 'If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders.'"

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Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (5, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974836)

Which means frankly, that MS is going to own Yahoo.

I don't know if this is good or bad, but time will tell... The shareholders hear only the sounds that money makes, and they are going to sell out quickly, especially in the midst of this recession.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (1)

Sadsfae (242195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974892)

Buying yahoo still won't turn their late entry into the web services* market into anything profitable.

At best it is just another competitor out of the way. I admit I do like Yahoo! finance, I find it pretty useful.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (2, Insightful)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975008)

Buying yahoo still won't turn their late entry into the web services* market into anything profitable.
And the downside is? ;-)

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975088)

No, but it may just kill off Yahoo! which will be a shame.

Time to find another place to host my discussion groups, and a new chat network.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (3, Insightful)

digital19 (1195625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975138)

No joke! Scanning msn.com right now the headline is 'is she divorced or just single, why it matters' and the three 'Popular Searches' are Naomi Campbell, Magnum P.I. and Mega Millions.

What gutter demographic are they looking for with this? They should look at their absolute cr#$ tabloid journalism and lack of any substantial news as probable reasons why people choose yahoo over msn/hotmail.

Instead they'll take over a company and wonder why it crashes in to the ground in a few years time.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (2, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975368)

No joke! Scanning msn.com right now the headline is 'is she divorced or just single, why it matters' ....What gutter demographic are they looking for with this?
Guys who date and like to read articles about things that they do. Dont worry, you would never see something along these lines on a website like slashdot. :)

Incidentally, one of the headlines on yahoo right now is "Find inexpensive date ideas" so its not like they are really all that different.

They want to attract those who waste money. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975866)

"What gutter demographic are they looking for with this?"

They want to attract people who habitually waste their money. Advertisers who sell junk will pay more to attract foolish people. Those advertisers can pay more because they have high profits; selling junk is very profitable.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975412)

Web services needs user trust, especially for private data. There are people who rejects to validated their paid Windows and live with consequences since they don't trust to Microsoft, even a byte of their data.

Trust is earned thing, nobody can buy it. When MS purchases Yahoo and puts a minimum size "Microsoft" to end of page, trust is erased immediately. They gamble on people being stupid and ignorant, people have slightly opened their eyes. Their gamble didn't work in 1998 when they purchased Hotmail, why would it work in 2008? We could be without Yahoo account in months of time but a non working $40+ Billion agreement could be the last mistake of Microsoft. They can't afford that mistake. It is not a dotcom web 2.0 startup, it is $40 billion Yahoo.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (4, Interesting)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975826)

I really want to agree with you but I teach at a small college and (almost) all my students couldn't care less about Microsoft and trust. They all have hotmail or msn or yahoo email addresses, lay it all out on facebook and myspace and they don't know about MSs tactics. So if MS is shooting for the (lucrative) young-and-ignorant demographic, they will succeed (people who know what they are in the minority).

I've found that young people very trusting and don't care about privacy.

So just like the rest of the sleazy successful businesses of targeting the ignorant (spam, late night commercials, mailings, etc.), they will find a big market and make money...
Wal-mart doesn't make money by earning trust or catering to the elite either. Same market.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (5, Funny)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974900)

Personally I think it would be funny if Google and Yahoo got some sort of deal together like TFA suggests might happen. If you can imagine how mad Balmer would get after a top programmer leaves, just imagine what would happen if Yahoo tied itself to Google. He'd be freakin foaming at the mouth and no chair in the Seattle area would be safe from him.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (0, Offtopic)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975056)

So if a serial killer goes on a shooting spree, we should say no bullet is safe from him?

(totally agree with you, just an influx of dicketry impulse to the neo-cortex =)

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22975114)

Bullets are meant to be shot, chairs aren't.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (3, Funny)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975188)

damn, i've been mistaking the use of chairs my whole life.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22975236)

Haha, that's funny because that one time he actually threw a chair! It's funny that you referenced that former event! LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!

Shareholders are supposed to sell ... (4, Insightful)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975024)

The shareholders hear only the sounds that money makes, and they are going to sell out quickly, ...

Shareholders are supposed to sell when they receive an advantageous offer. Advantageous being a return that is more likely greater than holding the stock. What do you think shareholders are, some sort of fanboys? More importantly, why do think the founders of the company went public and brought in shareholders, it was so that the founders could pocket a lot of money. So now the story that the founders sold to the shareholders turns out not to be true, and the shareholders are looking for their best option. This is the way public financing works.

... especially in the midst of this recession.

The motivation to sell in this specific case is not the recession but a failed business model.

FWIW, the midst of a recession is usually the time to buy. The onset of a recession is usually the time to sell.

Re:Shareholders are supposed to sell ... (4, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975556)

Although I do frequently have to point out to people how the whole concept of publicly traded companies works, I must disagree with you on this point; Shareholders are not supposed to do anything. Shareholders are of course free to do whatever they want (with obvious illegalities like insider trading aside), but there is no "thou shalt" commandments list for shareholders.

Personally, more shareholders should behave as what they are -- partial owners of the company, and therefore do what they believe is right for the company, the public, the environment, as they see fit, not just the bottom line, but they can buy or sell the stock whenever they like if they feel like doing so and have a seller/buyer available to do so.

Basically, if most of your shareholders don't want the company sold because they think its a bad idea even if it IS financially advantageous, then good for them, and it won't sell.

Re:Shareholders are supposed to sell ... (2, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975566)

BWAHAHAH, you had me for a minute there!!! Oh... you were serious :( Welcome to the *free market* where the quick dollar is the mighty sword.

Re:Shareholders are supposed to sell ... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975670)

more shareholders should behave as what they are -- partial owners of the company

who else has but a stockholder shares ownership of a corporation?

Re:Shareholders are supposed to sell ... (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975982)

Shareholders are not supposed to do anything.

I used "supposed to" not in a literal sense, rather in a "rational behavior indicates" sense.

Re:Shareholders are supposed to sell ... (1)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975772)

Shareholders are supposed to sell when they receive an advantageous offer. Advantageous being a return that is more likely greater than holding the stock. What do you think shareholders are, some sort of fanboys?
Er.. I think you mean that the officers of the corporation are supposed to act in the best interests of the shareholders.

The shareholders can be as rational or emotional with their shares as they want.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975164)

The shareholders hear only the sounds that money makes...

So if Microsoft were offering money (instead of MS shares), they'd surely listen?

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975284)

$X worth of MS shares is just as good as $X. If you dont want to hold MS shares you can just sell them the instant you get them, MS shares are highly liquid like most large cap stocks. Really the better question would be "Is yahoo worth $X?". Indicators are that most people who currently hold yahoo stock seem to think thats a good price to sell for, but we will find out for certain if it goes to a proxy battle.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (2, Insightful)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975816)

$X worth of MS shares is just as good as $X.

No, it ain't, because the value of MS shares varies according to the whim of the market. Now, that could mean that $X worth (nominal, at the instantaneous market price) could be even better than $X, or it could be worse. Certainly if a lot of people thought that "you can just sell them the instant you get them", they'd be worse than cash because the sudden dump of shares for sale on the market would drag the price down. (You've also got to figure in broker fees, etc).

There's also the consideration that if it's MS that's offering the shares, then they're doing it from their own holdings -- thus diluting the value of existing stockholder-held MSFT shares.

All this uncertainty means risk, whis is a factor by which you have to discount the value of those MSFT shares being offered vs the "equivalent" value in cash. Personally, I'd rather just have the cash.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22976292)

You're assuming that one is not free to sell $X worth of Microsoft shares for $X (minus brokerage fees and capital gains tax.) If you're given Microsoft shares in exchange for your Yahoo ones, nobody's forcing you to keep them after the company's sold.

However, if you hold on to the Microsoft shares, you are someone correct. The price of a stock does vary with the "whim" of the market, but if you'd rather have $X, sell the shares.

(But, presumably, if you were already holding Yahoo! shares instead of cash, odds are you won't want the cash.)

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (2, Insightful)

tyrione (134248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975196)

Which means frankly, that MS is going to own Yahoo. I don't know if this is good or bad, but time will tell... The shareholders hear only the sounds that money makes, and they are going to sell out quickly, especially in the midst of this recession.

Fortunately, for Yahoo shareholders Microsoft's stock is so diluted and volumetrically reached a point of saturation [they really should have taken Jackson's ruling and split into 4 separate corporations] that the upside of stock price potential is virtually within +/- 10 ticker points.

If Yahoo shareholders are looking for a solid Dividend Stock they'd already own Microsoft. They are looking for a ROI that has a large upside and Yahoo has that leverage.

Driving the price down (2, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975308)

Are they trying to drive the share price down? Is it against the law to put a company in uncertainty and controversy just for your own ends?

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975384)

It is very basic for me, the day the agreement voted "Yes", I will cancel/purge my account at Yahoo which I created when MS acquired Hotmail.

I know what will happen and I invite everyone to look for other options. It doesn't have to be Google. It won't be Google for me for example.

There are a huge amount of people like me, even completely non technical Yahoo mail "Plus" owners. They have chosen Yahoo not because they know FreeBSD or PHP, they have chosen because it is not Microsoft. For 10 years, I have seen the "free yahoo mail" down like 1-2 times at most.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22976140)

I guess it's time to switch to Time-Warner or Verizon for my broadband. I've had AT&T/Yahoo from before the Yahoo days -- back when it was PacBell DSL. If MS buys them, it's definitely time to switch :(

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (-1, Offtopic)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975472)

I think this Muppet Show sketch pretty much puts it all in perspective:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=3KANI2dpXLw [youtube.com]

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (1)

krod77 (953703) | more than 6 years ago | (#22976170)

I suspect it is for the good. The microsoft/yahoo team should be able to put forward much more competition vs google then they would be able to as separate entities.

Re:Well, it was nice knowing you Yahoo... (1)

kennethlawson (1087537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22976332)

Lets See If I own a company, and I like someone else's company that i think would go nice with mine and I offer to buy them and they say no. I really don't have much choice about what I can do, mostly just offer more money, or leave them be and hope the change their minds,,, Unless I'm Microsoft,, in which case I threaten to make your life miserable until you either sell to us or roll over and die altogether . Actually I, being Microsoft, would rather you just die... Slowly,, But then I'm not Microsoft, so I'm not trying to buy a company that don't want to be bought...

Galactica? (4, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974882)

Microsoft trying to take over Yahoo is old news. Microsoft threatening someone is old news. Techies should be rejoicing over the return of Galactica, and yet, what do we get here? Sadly, silence. Some geeks these days!

To paraphrase Captain Kirk: "I mock your superior intellect."

And Spock. "He is very intelligent, but his thinking is two dimensional."

Re:Galactica? (0, Offtopic)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975128)

So say we all.

Re:Galactica? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22976222)

So say we all! (I got your back :-)

Re:Galactica? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22976276)

I'm downloading it right now, but I went over my ISP's limit a few days ago and now I'm only at dial-up speeds. Tragic, I know. 17 hours remaining!

And then there were N..... (1)

graviplana (1160181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974884)

Two companies scrambling to maintain relevance, control and faltering business models in a world of open-source, choice and convergence...In my opinion, this proposed merger will not be good for the general public.

Re:And then there were N..... (3, Insightful)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974948)

a world of open-source
I don't see a world of open source. I see a world of closed source in which open source is making some small (but significant) strides.

Re:And then there were N..... (3, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975514)

In a world of closed source glass-clad skyscrapers, open source is the concrete and steel. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there.

Re:And then there were N..... (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975344)

... in a world of open-source, choice and convergence...
choice: an abundance or variety from which to choose
convergence: the approach of an infinite series to a finite limit

Seems to me we can either have choice *or* convergence, but we cannot have choice *and* convergence, as they are opposites.

Definitions courtesy of dictionary.com

Re:And then there were N..... (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975628)

Two companies scrambling to maintain relevance, control and faltering business models in a world of open-source...

a faltering business model isn't generally associated with a company that is reporting 15% growth in revenues in the states, 20% in the EU and 30% in places like China - each quarter.

Shit or get off the pot. (4, Funny)

dpaluszek (974028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974898)

Come on, Yahoo. I think Microsoft is being reasonable here, plus offering quite a bit. Even though I'm not a huge Microsoft fan, there is a thing called common courtesy.

Re:Shit or get off the pot. (4, Insightful)

borgheron (172546) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974990)

Sitting on the sidelines and saying what someone should do with a company they've built up from the ashes is very easy for you, but you have to consider what they're thinking. The people who founded Yahoo are free thinkers.

Yahoo is thought of (or was, during the boom) almost like Google is today. It's hard to build something from nothing and then have someone threaten to take it away like this. MS is strong arming them. They're basically saying "Sell or we'll take you over by rousing your stock holders" which is just business... but you have to really consider it from the perspective of the people who have created and grown with the company from the beginning.

If I were the yahoo management, I would be fighting MS with everything I have and looking for an alternate deal to screw them.

Re:Shit or get off the pot. (3, Insightful)

digital19 (1195625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975064)

I think that's exactly it. People want to frame this as 'it's a good deal now that we're in a recession'... as if economics was the only motivational factor behind anyones' existence.

I would imagine Jerry Yang finds himself opposed to many of Microsoft's core operating principles.

Undoubtedly, he will cringe when he types yahoo.com into his browser a few years from now.

Re:Shit or get off the pot. (4, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975194)

The founders and management of Yahoo dont own the company, it isnt their decision nor should it be. The founders made the decision that they wanted to go public and basically sell the company to others. Sure, they built it from ashes, but they made the decision to sell it. (for quite a bit of money too)

What is becoming apparant now is that they really just wanted all the money they got from selling the company to the general public, they didnt actually want other people to be the real owners of the company. You cant have your cake and eat it too, if you sell controlling shares of your company you have to accept that you cant just do whatever you want to with it, you have an obligation to act in the best interests of the shareholders. (the real owners of the company) If the founder of a company cant accept that he should just keep his company private.

Re:Shit or get off the pot. (0)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975726)

The founders and management of Yahoo dont own the company, it isnt their decision nor should it be. The founders made the decision that they wanted to go public and basically sell the company to others. Sure, they built it from ashes, but they made the decision to sell it. (for quite a bit of money too)

Yea the founders had an IPO and sold a lot of shares, however they also kept a lot of shares too so not only are they "management" but they are stockholders as well.

Falcon

Re:Shit or get off the pot. (4, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975212)

They're basically saying "Sell or we'll take you over by rousing your stock holders" which is just business... but you have to really consider it from the perspective of the people who have created and grown with the company from the beginning.

Boo-hoo. Those poor, poor billionaires. Their lives will have been meaningless.

Don't want to be subject to hostile takeovers? Don't go public. And good luck making a few billion.

Re:Shit or get off the pot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22976106)

Don't want to be subject to hostile takeovers? Don't go public.

DING DING DING! We have a winner! All of Yahoo's struggling is stupid... if you don't want to be subject to the whims of the market or whoever comes along with a big sack of money, then don't go public. Public holders, while they're suppose to act as a partial owner of the company, will typically act ONLY on the money. If you don't like the thought of what someone like that might do with your company, don't go public.

Any company that goes public has only themselves to blame when something like this happens.

Re:Shit or get off the pot. (1)

dark druid (325782) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975270)

The board of directors of yahoo has a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to maximize shareholder revenue. From the wikipedia article on fiduciary duty [wikipedia.org] :

"A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care at either equity or law. A fiduciary is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom they owe the duty (the "principal"): they must not put their personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from their position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents."

The yahoo board legally can't allow their desire to remain independent to color their judgement. The cost of going public is that it's not your company any more, it's your shareholder's company.

Re:Shit or get off the pot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22975604)

From what I've heard from some Yahoo devs, there is already a "way to screw Microsoft" or, more specifically, a way to protect all the employees from being let go. If Microsoft takes over Yahoo and decides to let employees go, they are guaranteed over a year of full wages, plus some amount of extra compensation.

Common courtesy??? More like extortion ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975192)

poster saith:

Come on, Yahoo. I think Microsoft is being reasonable here, plus offering quite a bit. Even though I'm not a huge Microsoft fan, there is a thing called common courtesy.

"If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders.'"

Maybe Apple and Yahoo! should offer to buy Microsoft - and make the same "swim with the fishes" offer.

Re:Common courtesy??? More like extortion ... (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975428)

Except that neither (even combined) has the capital. And remember, if it isn't in the best interests of their shareholders, that's a lawsuit waiting to happen as well.

Re:Common courtesy??? More like extortion ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975702)

Microsoft doesn't have the capital either - they'll be borrowing to finance a chunk of the deal.

Re:Common courtesy??? More like extortion ... (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975778)

True. But do you think even Apple could finance the amount to purchase Microsoft? Also bear in mind that there is no way in hell any government would approve a purchase of Microsoft by Apple, or Apple by Microsoft.

Re:Common courtesy??? More like extortion ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22976060)

I'm still wondering at the logic of buying Yahoo!

Microsoft would be better off splitting themselves into 3 or more businesses, each able to properly compete in their area of competence, rather than the "horizontally disintegrating" Microsoft they are now.

Buying Yahoo! won't help them. Not where they're hurting the most - Vista and Office. Everyone calls it VistaME, and the OOXML gimmick is backfiring. In the meantime, Microsoft is seeing even more pressure from cheap PCs, by having to extend XP's eol *again* to compete with linux. How long before a distro takes them to court for even more anti-competitive behaviour? (Your honour, they're selling XP only to our target market, in violation of the Sherman Act."

Realistically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22974906)

Resistance at $29.37 per share is useless.

Re:Realistically (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975058)

No, it's futile. Get it right.

M$oft getting better every day! (3, Funny)

no-body (127863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974910)

and making a lot more friends on the way.

Seems to become a staff/owner aging issue or they are getting desparate.

Twofo Goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22975012)

Goatse. [twofo.co.uk] [goatse.ch]

You nerds love it.

Re:M$oft getting better every day! (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975210)

I have to agree. I don't think Yahoo is all that great of a buy especially at $45-50. Don't get me wrong, it may be worth a significant fraction of that but that fraction will just be fucked by MS as well.

I can't help but think that amount of money would better serve their shareholders in the form of dividends rather than flailing about looking to buy a ready-made solution to their increasing internet irrevelancy. It's too bad, MS can make pretty nice things when they try and it's the engineers that design something first without the lawyers/marketers/corporate_droid dictating every little aspect.

oh teh noes!!! (1)

angryfirelord (1082111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974926)

Dear God not the shareholders!!! Honestly, if a "threat to shareholders" is the only offensive weapon Microsoft has, Microsoft may as well give up. Yahoo doesn't intend on becoming absorbed and re-branded, not to mention that such as deal would piss off a lot of users.

Re:oh teh noes!!! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22974956)

I don't think you understand. In a publicly held company, the shareholders own the company. If they want money (and they do), they'll just vote out the board at Yahoo and vote in one that is in favor of being bought out.

shareholders (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975814)

I don't think you understand. In a publicly held company, the shareholders own the company. If they want money (and they do), they'll just vote out the board at Yahoo and vote in one that is in favor of being bought out.

That's it exactly. If Microsoft really wanted to buy Yahoo! then MS should have bought Yahoo! shares on the market. MS could have bought 4.9% of Yahoo!'s shares before notifying anyone about it, SEC, the Securities and Exchange Commission requires stockholders to make a filing once they've bought 5% of a corporation's stocks. Though I'm not now if I had been a Yahoo! stockholder when MS first made the offer and the board accepted it I very well may of filed a lawsuit against the board. Most of the tyme when a buyer makes an offer they make it a low offer, those who don't believe this need to pay a visit to a bazaar, it called haggling or in more polite environs negotiating. In Yahoo!'s case, as the board didn't want to sell, why should they negotiate?

Falcon

Re:oh teh noes!!! (1)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975082)

Dear God not the shareholders!!! Honestly, if a "threat to shareholders" is the only offensive weapon Microsoft has, Microsoft may as well give up.
Heh.. that's backwards dude.. MS isn't threatening the shareholders -- indications are that the shareholders are in favor of this takeover.

Re:oh teh noes!!! (0, Flamebait)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975228)

You're kinda naive, aren't you?

Re:oh teh noes!!! (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975334)

Honestly, if a "threat to shareholders" is the only offensive weapon Microsoft has, Microsoft may as well give up. Yahoo doesn't intend on becoming absorbed and re-branded, not to mention that such as deal would piss off a lot of users.
Sure, but when has that ever stopped someone powerful enough to do something anyway? "A lot" isn't going to amount to any sizeable percentage, I'm afraid. The vast majority will continue on, just as with Hotmail, they may even be *happier* with Microsoft in charge.

Yahoo has become extremely unfriendly to non-Microsoft systems of late and even my Mac OS X box has problems playing all the music and videos there (which is my wife's favorite application, alas).

Re:oh teh noes!!! (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975878)

Yahoo has become extremely unfriendly to non-Microsoft systems of late and even my Mac OS X box has problems playing all the music and videos there

I'm a member of some Yahoo! Groups and I haven't had problem either on my Mac or my Linux PC with the groups. It may be different with audio/visuals but I don't play music or videos on any computer except as objects or plugins on websites.

Falcon

threatening (1)

HyperQuantum (1032422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974930)

'If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders.'
i.e. "we're going to eat you, whether you like it or not"

Re:threatening (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975448)

John Gruber of Daringfireball.net has said about the letter:
"This is the white collar equivalent of Steve Ballmer showing up at Yahoo's door with a baseball bat in his hand."

They Left Out The Last Sentence In The Letter (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974968)

"Or Steve Ballmer will EAT YOU!!!"

If I was Yahoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22974992)

If I was Yahoo, I would tell them, by the time Windows 7 is out... next year.. or so.

What do I care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22974996)

I use Microsoft Explorer to find Google. I'm sure I could use Yahoo to find Google.

Didn't they just DO this? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975028)

"If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders, including the initiation of a proxy contest to elect an alternative slate of directors," Ballmer wrote.

Isn't that basically what they just got done doing with ISO? Buy the votes to get their way "by-the-rules"?

Re:Didn't they just DO this? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975178)

Yeah, but this time it is legal.

Re:Didn't they just DO this? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975930)

not really.

The shareholders are the owners of the company. They are the ones who are ultimiately in charge.

For a shareholder who bought yahoo just as an investment the MS deal is a very good one. The value of thier investment will more than double overnight. If they don't want to hold MS stock they will be able to easilly sell it off.

A shareholder who actually cares about the company and thier products would probablly want them to remain independent.

The former category probablly make up the majority of shareholders but the current board is more sympathetic to the latter kind.

When you sell the majority of your company to people who only care about the money this is the risk you take.

defaults (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975074)

If yahoo wants to be on the windows desktop by default, this could be the way to do it.

Re:defaults (2, Informative)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975436)

Putting icons to users desktop and tricking users by Start menu didn't work well for MSN. Yahoo won because people have chosen it, not by a trap, by actually going to www.yahoo.com or getting their toolbar (as opt-in) from toolbar.yahoo.com . They have chosen Yahoo because it promises a minimal configuration need which definitely won't "punish" you for not using Windows OS.

AOL purchased Netscape just for home.netscape.com start page for $5 billion. What happened when they made Browser irrelevant? People basically changed their homepage. People aren't that stupid.

Translation: (2, Funny)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975078)

"We're determined to destroy both our companies, so hurry up and help us!"

Does this mean ... (2, Funny)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975110)

... that we'll be dressing up the Yahoo! logo as a borg ?

That'd actually be pretty sweet.

You know, despite being a Yahoo! mail user since the 90's who hates Microsoft as much as the next slashdotter, I actually hope they do merge now just so I can see that.

Altalavista baby ! (1, Funny)

Laxator2 (973549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975132)

Sorry, I had to say it. This can only help Google obtain total domination of internet advertising, as M$ will screw Yahoo! just as they did with MapBlast. And (Alta ?)Vista.

Hmmmm (1)

olliec420 (1023207) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975150)

Sounds like M$ is getting desperate. All that money they invested in Live doesnt appear to be paying off. hehe I love it. M$ sux0rs

Antitrust someone? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22975170)

Doesn't this sound like a case for antitrust? I don't think EU would approve it.

Re:Antitrust someone? (2, Insightful)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975750)

No, because there is still large competition in the field (Google, AOL)

Re:Antitrust someone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22976280)

Doesn't this sound like a case for antitrust?

No. This does not create any new monopoly.

Wheel of Gates: The Monopoly Continues (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22975234)

Wonderful, who is M$ going to buy next, Disney?

Kiss your flickr, del.icio.us, yahoo mail, zimbra, and more goodbye!

The borg/gates image is more powerfully true now more than ever.

How many computer stores are you walking into and walking out with an OS other than Windows?

2008 and we're still fucked by the monopoly. I can't wait for M$ Silverlight to ejaculate on all of the former Yahoo services as a requirement.

Enjoy your next Halo, xbox, and directx version, tater heads.

Re:Wheel of Gates: The Monopoly Continues (1)

Laxator2 (973549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975468)

I think they will buy MySpace and Facebook and rename them MS_pace and Fakebook.

Wonderful, who is M$ going to buy next, Disney? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22976010)

I don't think so, MS would have a hard tyme buying Disney because Steve Jobs is on Disney's board of directors.

Falcon

Heard in the Yahoo com-room... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22975244)

"I am Ballmer of Borg. Your life as it has been is over. From this time forward, you will service us. Resistance is futile."

The end is near ... (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975294)

Gee, that's a nice company you have there. It would be a shame if the stockholders lose faith in you ...

i'm ready (1)

bball99 (232214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975414)

i've already migrated most of my on-line accounts and 'reply-to' email address accounts to:

gmail.com

buh-bye, yahoo!

it was fun while it lasted!

ta-ta!

Balmer is going to sound like Vader pretty soon. (1)

acecamaro666 (1243364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975456)

"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

The glass is half full...in a way (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975544)

The more money MS blows on purchasing Yahoo!, the less they have to go do mischief elsewhere [slashdot.org] .... So that is sort of good news.

  And if the Yahoo! stockholders can't learn from history what MS does to companies they "embrace"..oh well...tough beans, and more good news, because our economy as a whole is suffering from short term profits "investors" mindsets..so.. if they approve it and wind up taking a bath eventually..who cares really? And if *MS* stockholders think blowing billions on this is a good idea, rather than, you know, actually producing good code and paying good devs... well ditto for them as well, again, who cares?

What does Yahoo have that MS wants? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22975572)

What the hell does Yahoo have that MS wants so badly? Technologies? I was under the impression that Yahoo was pretty heavily invested in F/OSS technologies. People? I highly doubt many, if any, of the Yahoo elite would stay if MS bought them. Hell I am sure Google would offer them all jobs automatically should this happen to suck them all away.

It just looks so strange for Microsoft to take such a hard lined approach to this. I don't know if it looks desperate or childish but it certainly is strange. It almost looks like they are panicking?

Re:What does Yahoo have that MS wants? (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975732)

What the hell does Yahoo have that MS wants so badly?

about 16 million unique visitors to its web sites each month.

What alternatives are there to using Yahoo email? (1)

Nivag064 (904744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975748)

If Microsoft take over Yahoo, I want to use another company for email.

For obvious reasons, HotMail is not an option, nor is Google's GMail!

So what are the viable alternatives for an email provider?

-Nivag

Re:What alternatives are there to using Yahoo emai (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22975790)

For obvious reasons, HotMail is not an option, nor is Google's GMail!
And what exactly are those obvious reasons?

No one here can suggest anything to you without knowing what criteria you rate free email services by. It is even more difficult to make a recommendation when you have seemingly arbitrary judgements as to which services you won't use.

Re:What alternatives are there to using Yahoo emai (2)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22975850)

Lavabit. Decent storage, but AWESOME privacy.

Re: Yahoo email alternatives (2, Interesting)

gabble-blotchit (830861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22976070)

Ultimately, the shareholders of Yahoo! are its users. If they lose their users, their business is worth nothing.

So the first question is:

How do I let Yahoo know I'm bailing out of their email services if they turn into MicroHoo! ?

Re: Yahoo email alternatives (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 6 years ago | (#22976216)

Good question, and I am like you going to seek another email service if MS does take over Yahoo. Not Google too.

Best of all possible worlds (1)

baomike (143457) | more than 6 years ago | (#22976176)

MSFT blows big bucks (may even has to borrow money). Yahoo share holders get bailed out, MSFT distracted by a tarbay for years to come.
It just doesn't get much better than this.

I might even have to buy some Yahoo stock just to vote YES YES YES.

Micro-Who? (1)

deanston (1252868) | more than 6 years ago | (#22976238)

This deal has the same disturbing sense as the single mother unable to find a job and forced to *uck the ugly fat landlord to pay rent.

If the shareholders do not believe in the leaders of the company as chosen by the board. Fine. But if all anyone should care about is the stock value in the moment, isn't that what led to the mortgage meltdown and the economic downturn and consequently Yahoo's current bleak outlook?

Prediction: Yahoo will be taken over. Half of its brightest people will stay to take their chance with MS and toil away anonymously for the next 3 years; the founders and other half smart people will go on to help Google or startup something new. The 16M unique visitors will drop in half. After taking 2-3 years to integrate the back-end technology and infrastructure of the 2 companies, it'll cost MS 3X the original price tag. Consumers will be so confused by the 250 different desktop-tied-in online services and the 500 different names by which they will be called as offered by MicrosofToo that remaining old Yahoo users will finally give up. After Windows 7 flops the new name the entity will be known is Micro-Who?

My advise to Yahoo shareholders: Sell to MS. Then buy Google, AT&T, and VM & network hardware vendor stocks.

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