Here are some additional Sunday morning, incomplete thoughts and observations…
Other potential bidders and regulatory approval:
Yahoo! is buying time to bring others into this process.
Silicon Alley Insider speculates about the chances of private-equity being enlisted as a “white knight” to avoid a Microsoft takeover. But as the post indicates there are few that have the stomach or the means to compete with Microsoft in a bidding war.
Given Google’s dominance in search and its global brand position, regulators aren’t likely to block the acquisition in the US. Europe, which has greater antipathy toward Microsoft, might be a harder sell.
Yahoo! employee morale:
I spoke to three Yahoo! employees and former executives on Friday several hours after the deal was announced. While one employee discussed how some of the rank and file might be “stoked” because options would immediately vest in the event of a takeover, the general feeling was that this move would not be welcome by Yahoo! employees and might send more people out of the company — or tip the balance for those already on the fence.
Microsoft has promised “incentives” to retain Yahoo! personnel, especially engineers.
The Yahoo!-newspaper consortium:
While this is an extremely desirable set of relationships for Microsoft as part of the larger deal (and ad network), I suspect the newspapers themselves are nervously going to look around for strategic alternatives. We are now unlikely to see the full realization of the vision for the consortium. Some in the industry are probably saying “I told you so,” in terms of tying their fate and futures to a single large entity.
Google becomes the “cool” underdog again (maybe):
My memory is that I started using Google in 1999 when it was a cool alternative search engine. Since then we all know what’s happened; it has become one of the world’s most powerful technology and media companies that inspires fear among many and even cynicism and loathing among a few.
Google’s rise was one of the best “political” developments for Microsoft, which became something of an “underdog” and more lovable accordingly. Google took some of the general anti-trust heat off Microsoft too. A Microsoft-Yahoo! combination would potentially recast that landscape and turn Google again into the more sympathetic party of the two — maybe.
There’s also the strong chance that as Microsoft is integrating Yahoo!’s assets that the process proves to be a big “distraction” for both companies, allowing Google to continuing ramping and make further gains in current Yahoo! areas of strength. The biggest danger-area is potentially mobile — even though there’s arguably more “synergy” here for Micro-Hoo than redundancy — because the market is still so new but is rapidly developing.
Thoughts, reactions to any or all of the above?