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….