This morning’s news forced me to table my prepared blog in order to mention the latest twist in the Yahoo! saga. As suggested in an earlier blog, a Microsoft – Yahoo! arrangement is potentially back on the table. Earlier today, Microsoft said it would be willing to reopen talks to buy all or part of Yahoo!, but only if the current Yahoo! Board of Directors is replaced at the upcoming Yahoo! shareholder meeting on August 1st.
Per a Microsoft statement, “In the past week we have had the opportunity to discuss with Carl Icahn the prospects for a possible agreement between Microsoft and Yahoo!. Despite working since January 31 of this year, as well as in the early part of last year, we have never been able to reach an agreement in a timely way on acceptable terms with the current management and Board of Directors at Yahoo!. We have concluded that we cannot reach an agreement with them. We confirm, however, that after the shareholder election Microsoft would be interested in discussing with a new board a major transaction with Yahoo!, such as either a transaction to purchase the “Search” function with large financial guarantees or, in the alternative, purchasing the whole company.” That sure sounds a lot different than “We’re not interested in buying Yahoo!,” stance recently taken by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
This also comes on the heels of last week’s news that Yahoo! is potentially involved in talks with Time Warner and News Corp regarding potential alliances, mergers or partnerships.
Yahoo! has a unique asset. Yahoo! CEO & Founder Jerry Yang knows it. Carl Icahn knows it. Microsoft knows it too. The plot thickens. Will Jerry Yang be able to keep his baby independent or is Yahoo!’s destiny to be absorbed by a giant or maybe even get dismantled? Good luck Jerry.
Economic conditions here in the U.S. continue to deteriorate. Last week, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there was a net loss of 62,000 payroll jobs in June, marking the 6th straight month of job losses, now totaling over 400,000 for the year. On that, my next blog will likely discuss the PPC advertising environment during recession.