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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….

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  • coon

    Wouldn’t there be a significant amount of overlap in Google and Yahoo’s search data anyway?

  • ac

    Actually, no. Remember, the internet is not a zero sum game. The audiences of the two search properties are different. Plus, yahoo probably has more information about their customer base.

  • http://seowebmaster.com/ Search◆ Engines WEB

    It is one thing to make a private call. It is another to LEAK the conversation.

    So, either this leak was planned as a preemptive strategy or Jerry told someone, who told someone else etc and eventually it got leaked to WSJ – as all Google stories do

  • http://business-networking.us nmw

    BTW: AFAIK, the story was first published at mktw.com (another Dow Jones property). It was only about 15 min. after I commented on it here ( battellemedia.com/archives/004247.php#comment_128421 ), that I first saw it appear on wsj.com.

  • mmay

    “the data” is not the precise reason, in my view. in order to be a media business of scale you need to have significant and direct relationships w/ advertisers-you have to matter to the ad community. you need reach (a large audience) and a variety of ad products/offerings. if yahoo gave up search, it would give up its relationships w/ search advertisers, and it would reduce the number and types of ad products it could offer to the advertiser relationships it retained. outsourcing search to google may have a short term positive impact on financials and the stock, but it’s bad in the long run for yhoo…

  • Mike Mothner

    Despite Google’s attempts to thwart Microsoft’s bid, I agree that I cannot see Yahoo turning down this offer. While Google would definitely benefit from Yahoo not taking Microsoft’s offer, it would not be a good move for Yahoo who would end up losing a considerable amount of their source of revenue.

  • Desire Athow

    Mike, whatever way you look at it, Google’s bound to be the winner. Listen to this week’s TWIT podcast for some nice words from Scoble (whatever you might think of him).

    If Yahoo refuses the bid, its shares will go down and it will slowly but surely wane away until finally someone buys its carcass: Google and Microsoft are winners

    If Yahoo accepts the bid, Microhoo will take at least 18 months for the digestion to take place. Ever witnessed a Python eating an alligator.

    The acquisition will take the focus away from MS’s core products and services and will make it even more vulnerable to Google.

    IMHO, the web is not Microsoft’s favourite turf and although it has several great brands like MSN, IE and Live, it still lacks that little something that makes Google so dazzling.

  • http://web-developers.biz nmw

    @Desire

    Yes, what Microsoft lacks is: zealots! ;D

    I find it amazing that people whom I tell about http://battellemedia.com/archives/004242.php#comment_128459 (and the following comments) respond with “who cares?”!?!?

    Really strange….

    :O nmw

  • http://www.exoticfilipina.com Filipina

    Microsoft has to realize that it is not a small, flexible company which could change its vision in a short time and compete with Google whose core competence is in search engine.

  • Charlie

    OK i agree with most of this, if Yahoo don’t survive in the form it is now it will only mean Google and Microsoft have won………do we really want that to happen, after all competition is good, if we only have 2 major platforms to market on then this will only make things harder for us. I’m still waiting for comments to come from James Brausch and other marketers out there.