free html hit counter February 2008 - Page 6 of 6 - John Battelle's Search Blog


By - February 05, 2008

Remember when I ranted about O Hare airport? Well, at 5.15 this morning, a lovely time to be in a car on my way to SFO, I was informed that my flight was summarily cancelled.

The weather, in a word, blows. So I am not in Chicago, seeing clients. I’m at home, wondering if I can get to Chicago at all…posting should be heavier than I thought!

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Yahoo: Take the Data

By - February 04, 2008

The WSJ is reporting that Google CEO Eric Schmidt reached out to Yahoo’s Yang:

Google Inc. Chief Executive Eric Schmidt called Yahoo Inc. CEO Jerry Yang to offer his company’s help in any effort to thwart Microsoft Corp.’s unsolicited $44.6 billion bid for Yahoo, say people familiar with the matter.

This help would come, of course, in the form of Yahoo being assimilated into the great Google paid search machine. This would make both Yahoo and Google tons of money, to be sure. But Yang already decided against this late last year:

Yahoo executives had considered such a maneuver as part of a strategic review last year, according to people familiar with the matter, but Mr. Yang in October had signaled that it had decided against it.

“We believe having a principal position in both search and display advertising is critical to creating…long-term shareholder value,” Mr. Yang told analysts during Yahoo’s earnings conference call in October.

Why does he believe it? The secret is in the data. Having paid search data – who clicks on what, when, and where they go – is critical to having better display advertising offerings. Losing that data to Google would hurt Yahoo’s business.

So…perhaps Jerry should call Eric back, and suggest that they do a deal that includes that data….

Google Slams Microsoft

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In a blog post that will be its only response, according to an email I was sent, Google fires pretty much everything it has at the Microsoft/Yahoo deal.

Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and

illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the

Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to

establish proprietary monopolies — and then leverage its dominance into

new, adjacent markets.

Could the acquisition of Yahoo! allow Microsoft — despite its legacy of

serious legal and regulatory offenses — to extend unfair practices from

browsers and operating systems to the Internet? In addition, Microsoft plus

Yahoo! equals an overwhelming share of instant messaging and web email

accounts. And between them, the two companies operate the two most heavily

trafficked portals on the Internet. Could a combination of the two take

advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of

consumers to freely access competitors’ email, IM, and web-based services?

Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions — and consumers

deserve satisfying answers.

This hostile bid was announced on Friday so there is plenty of time for

these questions to be thoroughly addressed. We take Internet openness,

choice and innovation seriously. They are the core of our culture. We

believe that the interests of Internet users come first — and should come

first — as the merits of this proposed acquisition are examined and

alternatives explored.

Media M&A Indeed Picks Up

By - February 01, 2008

Amazon Audible. MSFT Yahoo. Yahoo Maven. And on and on it goes…..

The Other Shoe Drops On Yahoo

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It’s become an old saw – Microsoft will bid for Yahoo, because neither company can figure out how to crack the Google code. Now that it’s happened, will it … happen?

(PS, did you catch the reference to the project here?)

My previous coverage of this includes a prediction it’d happen in 2007 (nice timing), and a modest proposal the two companies join their search efforts. Here’s my interview with Steve Ballmer at Web 2 last year, where this topic certainly comes up.

I’m still not sure this works. I don’t see how the two cultures merge. But perhaps that’s not the point. Perhaps at the end of the day, Yahoo becomes Microsoft’s long half-hearted media arm, and the folks in Redmond can finally stop worrying about what their focus is. As I wrote back in May 07, perhaps it’s time for Microsoft to be more like GE.

More later…