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Friday, May 04, 2007

Microsoft, Yahoo thinking about merging?

The rumors are flying this morning. From the Wall Street Journal:
In what appear to be early-stage discussions, executives at Microsoft and Yahoo are taking a fresh look at a merger of the two companies or some kind of match-up that would pair their companies' respective strengths, say people familiar with the situation.

The renewed talks are a sign of the continued growth in Google's power and problems over the past year with in-house efforts at Yahoo and Microsoft to ride a boom in Internet advertising. Meanwhile, management changes at both companies could help pave the way for a pairing that a year ago couldn't happen.
A Microsoft-Yahoo deal would be a monster - one of the biggest combinations the technology industry has ever seen, easily overshadowing Google's recent acquisitions of YouTube and DoubleClick. Then there was its 2005 deal with AOL, and its 2006 deal with MySpace. Yahoo's market value is $38 billion and its fiscal 2006 revenue was $6.43 billion. It has almost 12,000 employees.

But it has had a difficult time competing against Google, as has Microsoft. A merger would instantly give Microsoft a powerful position on the Internet since Yahoo is the world's number one portal. But what would it mean for Microsoft's MSN site and its Windows Live initiative? There's a lot of overlap.

Microsoft and Yahoo executives may ultimately decide it's in their best interest to join forces, but that doesn't mean consumers will benefit. Consolidation usually means there's less competition and less choices, not more.

TechMeme has complete coverage.

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