Microsoft Offers $44.6B for Yahoo

WOW…

Microsoft Corp. has pounced on slumping Internet icon Yahoo Inc. with an unsolicited takeover offer of $44.6 billion in its boldest bid yet to challenge Google Inc.’s dominance of the lucrative online search and advertising markets.

The surprise offer of $31 per share, made late Thursday and announced Friday, comes with Sunnyvale-based Yahoo in a vulnerable position.

In a statement Friday, Yahoo said it will “carefully and promptly” study Microsoft’s bid.

[…]

In a letter to Yahoo’s board of directors, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer indicated the world’s largest software maker is determined to bring the two companies together.

To underscore its resolve, Microsoft is offering a 62 percent premium to Yahoo’s closing stock price Thursday.

[Source: Yahoo News]

Rumors have been going around for quite some time now that Microsoft would eventually attempt to buy Yahoo, and now they have come true.

If Yahoo shareholders decide to sell, what would it mean for the Internet?
Would it make the companies’ combined portfolios better suited to take on Google?
What would happen to all the different Yahoo services? Especially if they have existing competing Microsoft services? It’d certainly be a shame to see services like Flickr or Delicious take a down turn because of this.
Many questions, and still too early to know for sure what the answers are.

Personally, I would prefer for this deal not to happen, because the way things are now allows for more competition and more creativity. Anyway, even if the deal goes through, I’m not sure it will change much in Microsoft’s position against Google, especially if they start trying to take Yahoo the Microsoft way and start MS’ing their products and services and badly re-branding them.

If the deal goes through, what I think they should do is leave Yahoo a lot of its independence and spirit, not change the product/service names, drop MSN altogether and study quantitatively and qualitatively competing products in the portfolio to take decisions on which to integrate everything into as a brand.

Anyway, I guess we’ll just wait and see how all this plays out. But it has the potential to change a big part of the geography of the online world.

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