February 04, 2008
Monday Morning Quarterbacking on Microsoft-Yahoo
Posted by Christine Hurt

This morning's financial news is all-Microsoft/Yahoo, all the time!  The most important development in the saga of Microsoft's unsolicited bid is that Google has stepped into the fray, contacting lobbyists in Washington to try to stimulate antitrust review interest and also other companies to see if anyone else is interested in outbidding Microsoft.  Although Google may be too large itself to be Yahoo's white knight, the media is speculating that Google could either tie up Yahoo's crown jewel of ad search placement by entering into a long-term contract or purchasing it outright.  In another scenario, multiple bidders might bid for different parts of Yahoo.  Even if these bids are ultimately unsuccessful, Google would benefit by forcing Microsoft to pay more (or even overpay) for Yahoo.

As the media scrambles to assess what the technology landscape would look like in a post-Yahoo world, it is tripping over itself to have as many stories in the news as it can, even if they are inconsistent.  My favorite dueling headlines this morning were both in the NYT, and even share a common author:

Microsoft Adds Research Lab in East as Others Cut Back -- As other high-tech companies cut back on their research labs, Microsoft continues to increase its ranks of free-rein thinkers.

Another Difficulty for a Microsoft-Yahoo Marriage: Recruiting -- The crowds of engineering students stood as many as six deep at the recruitment table Google set up at a job fair at Stanford last fall. Facebook's representatives faced a similarly thick crowd clamoring for a few minutes of their time. At the Microsoft and Yahoo tables, by contrast, students looked, but generally did not linger.

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