WSJ: MicroHoo! Talks Off

The WSJ (sub req’d) is now reporting that the possible merger or acquisition talks are off:

Microsoft and Yahoo discussed a possible merger or other matchup that would pair their respective strengths, say people familiar with the situation. The merger discussions are no longer active, these people say, but that doesn’t preclude the two companies from some other form of cooperation.

Hmmm…

My position and point of view have consistently been that Yahoo! doesn’t want to be acquired but would potentially consider a strategic alliance of some sort. From the WSJ article:

For now, Yahoo doesn’t appear interested in a major deal with Microsoft, say people familiar with the situation. The Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet company’s course may largely depend on a new advertising-system upgrade, called “Project Panama,” whose delay last year prompted criticisms from investors and others that were directed toward the company’s management. Panama is now running, and Yahoo said recently that it expects the system to contribute to its revenue, starting this quarter.

We’ll see what happens. Regardless, it appears that some changes are afoot for Microsoft, with some heads possibly rolling:

Microsoft’s online division could be heading for a shake-up, say people familiar with the situation. Failure by the Redmond, Wash., company to make better headway against Google in Internet search, combined with Microsoft losing a deal to Google last month to buy online-advertising specialist DoubleClick, has spurred Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer to consider new action, these people say. Mr. Ballmer’s frustration with the group’s progress has been “palpable,” said a person familiar with the company.

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Related: There are rumors of Google interest in jobs meta search site SimplyHired. Who knows with so many rumors flying about so many companies these days; but if it were true it would suggest that Google’s Base strategy is not working to build depth and content in key vertical categories — at least in jobs.

Google presumably doesn’t need the search technology so what would it be buying?. . . an existing repository of data, business development relationships and some nice site features. That’s not to minimize SimplyHired — here’s an early favorable post I did about the company — but it’s curious to me. Maybe, again if true, this is Google saying: in key categories we want to build specialized sites; in others we’ll use a more “generic” approach.


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