Hot on the heels of the $44.6 Billion Offer made by Microsoft to Buy Yahoo, the web is going crazy with discussions on this. This deal if takes place, could well be the defining moment of Internet in 2008. This deal has large ramifications, beyond just about you and me can think of.
I’m not entirely sure, if this deal makes sense for Microsoft. The only reason Microsoft seems to be running behind Yahoo is to beat Google in Search and Online Advertising. The Bid seems to be a good deal for Yahoo, since the company has virtually been struggling for the past four years and 62% premium on the current value seems to be a good deal for the shareholders.
But it raises some obvious questions. Every Acquisition has always had one side loosing itself. Take for example Google’s recent acquisitions. Dodgeball, Jaiku, Measure Map etc.. All these companies had to suffer the wrath of Google. But take Youtube, it was a competitor to Google Video at the time it was purchased, and Google had to take some tough decisions on what it should do with Google Video. Now we see Youtube and Google Video coexisting happily without interfering with each other.
The Question is can Microsoft do this. For long we’ve known Microsoft to be a monopolistic company, with bigger than life interests. Let me ask you some questions here. I’d want all of you to comment on these questions that I’m putting up here..
- Windows Live search or Yahoo search?
- Live messenger or Yahoo messenger?
- Live spaces , Yahoo 360?
- MSN Dating (Match) or Yahoo personal?
- MSN advertising platform or Yahoo advertising platform?
- .NET or JAVA?
- Live ID or Open ID?
Microsoft surely has some tough questions to answer, and speaking with reference to history, I think Microsoft would personally like to stick with its own services. This acquisition also raises questions as to what Microsoft plans to do with the poster childs of Web 2.0 namely Flickr and Del.icio.us. It would do more harm than good to play around with them.
There is also one more thing that the Yahoo Board would have to consider incase they decide to go ahead with this deal. A lot more people could be loosing their jobs at Yahoo, considering the amount of overlap in the services that the two internet giants offer and with the parent company that is Microsoft giving preference to its own properties over Yahoo’s inspite of Yahoo Services being more popular.
In my belief the deal is not a good idea for the whole Internet as well. Microsoft has for long shed away from promoting Open Source and we all know that Open Source is the future of the Internet and proprietary technologies like ASP will never work. And what’s even more important is that Yahoo has been ramping up on the use of Open Source Technologies with services like Flickr, Zimbra, Del.icio.us. So that’s again a point of differing interests of the two companies.
I don’t think a combination of Yahoo and Microsoft is going to reverse Google’s increasing search dominance. As Terry Semel said in 2006:
My impartial advice to Microsoft is that you have no chance. The search business has been formed.
He’s pretty much right, the search game is pretty much sealed, and Microsoft doesn’t have much of a chance here. Acquiring Yahoo would mean a lot of conflicts for Microsoft and its own services and its own technologies.
All in all I don’ think this deal holds value for either Yahoo and Microsoft, except this is probably the answer to all the struggles Yahoo has put up with its Finances and Stock. Yahoo gets a boatload of money if this deal gets through and looses its identity that it has built up over the years. And What does Microsoft get, nothing at all. There is no way Microsoft can defeat Google by acquiring Yahoo simply because conflicts in the interests of the two companies is one too many.
What do you think about this deal? Yahoo still hasn’t said a Yes or No to the deal and their board must be taking some decisions as I speak. But all in all if this deal goes through, Yahoo would be the biggest looser and Google would only become stronger.
Please Yahoo, please say No. I don’t want any of the services that have come to define the Internet to die at the hands of Oppressive Microsoft. Please live on, and Live Free and I’m sure you’d be able to get past all your recent troubles.
Please voice your opinions on this deal in the comments. We all need to discuss this, as it could forever change the landscape of the Internet.
Image Credit : Mashable