Google offers to help Yahoo! fend off Microsoft’s unsolicited takeover bid

“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,” Kevin J. Delaney and Matthew Karnitschnig report for The Wall Street Journal.

“The approach Friday from Google — Microsoft’s chief rival on the Internet — came as Yahoo is assessing its options for responding to Microsoft’s aggressive ‘bear hug’ bid, which has sent aftershocks through the media and technology industries since its announcement three days ago. People familiar with the matter say Yahoo’s board, which conferred by telephone Friday, hasn’t taken a position so far and no rival bids have emerged yet, though it remains possible some will,” Delaney and Karnitschnig report.

“It is considered unlikely that Google would itself bid for Yahoo because of regulatory concerns related to their large shares of the search and online advertising markets. But the people familiar with the matter say Google could play a role in attempts by others to outbid Microsoft, or by Yahoo to remain independent. Google could potentially offer money, or guaranteed revenue in return for a Yahoo advertising outsourcing pact, under that scenario, say people familiar with the matter. Even such involvement by Google would likely attract antitrust scrutiny because of concerns that competition between the two Silicon Valley Internet companies could be reduced,” Delaney and Karnitschnig report.

Delaney and Karnitschnig report, “Google Senior Vice President David Drummond in a blog post asked whether Microsoft could ‘now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC.’ Mr. Drummond accused Microsoft, which has been targeted by antitrust regulators in the U.S. and Europe for years, of ‘frequently [seeking] to establish proprietary monopolies — and then [leveraging] its dominance into new, adjacent markets.'”

Delaney and Karnitschnig report, “While Google and Yahoo are intense rivals in those areas, they share deep roots in Silicon Valley, whereas Microsoft is a plane ride away in Redmond, Wash. Mr. Yang, a Yahoo cofounder, has been opposed to a sale to Microsoft in the past, and some at Google believe it should try to help, say people familiar with the matter.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “eugene” for the heads up.]

31 Comments

  1. “…say people familiar with the matter.”

    That phrase drives me crazy. If you can’t get a attributable quote, find another source. He said, she said should have no place in responsible journalism. Just my $0.02 on that.

    In regards to this who Microhoo deal, I really hope it doesn’t happen. Even if it does, it probably won’t matter much. I can see the nightmarish integration scenario now considering Yahoo has been making it a point to build out their technologies utilizing tools that do not come from or run on Microsoft software.

  2. I admit that I’m baffled by the support for this takeover (expressed on other websites) being seen as “Good for competition”.
    Since when is the ELIMINATION of a competitor (Yahoo!) defined as “benefitting” competition?

    There are currently THREE big players in that market.
    If Microsoft BUYS OUT Yahoo!, then there will be only TWO.

    I’m tellin’ ya, you guys ought to read the rubbish posts over at C|Net that support this idea!

  3. Yahoo hasn’t really been all that friendly to us Mac users, anyone familiar with the site can tell you.

    1: Games and features required IE only
    2: Yahoo presently doesn’t fully support Safari and attempting to subsitute it’s own browser instead.

    So Yahoo has been displaying itself in the “Microsoft only camp” for quite some time, thus the bids from Redmond.

    Glad Google is stepping in because it seems like nearly everyone in command at Yahoo is a Microsoft shrill.

  4. I’m a big Google fan. However, in the last year or two, people increasingly have disagreed with Google whose mission statement is to “Do no evil.”

    If MS buys Yahoo! it just makes Google much more of the good guy.

  5. You guys are so funny and hypocritical. Let’s suppose for an instant that it was Apple buying Yahoo! and Google throwing the dish on an Apple-Yahoo! deal. If that were the case, you guys would all be calling this for what it is: FUD. Clear and simply, this is a sad and pathetic attempt by Google stemming from fear of a Microsoft-Yahoo! combination.

    But alas, since it’s Microsoft we’re talking about, you guys think that Google speaks the truth. Give me a break…

  6. Jordan – you’re right that people who post here automatically assume Microsoft’s motives are inherently bad.

    I think that comes from watching Microsoft build a reputation over the years as a company that almost always has bad motives.

  7. Jordan, that’s a nice straw man you got there.

    Buying Yahoo is exactly the kind of thing Apple would NOT do.
    When Apple makes forays into new markets it does so slowly with measured steps, not leaping in with it’s eyes closed shouting “HOPE THIS WORKS!”

    Microsoft has an ad-based search engine… it sucks. A Yahoo purchase (especially a failed one) can only damage MS’ reputation further as it will be seen as a sign that MS has no confidence in it’s own product.

    However, were Apple to attempt this I would heap as much derision on it as I could because it is a bad idea all around.

  8. Let’s try this math:

    Company 1 is clueless about being successful in Internet Advertising and On-line search presence. Also, clueless about creating useable, functional software.

    Company 2 is imploding because they are becoming clueless about being successful in Internet Advertising and On-line search presence. Clueless about creating useable, functional software.

    Company 1 proposes to buy Company 2 to enhance/strengthen their clueless expertise.

    Now that’s what I call a match made in Cyber-heaven. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  9. @Sixvodkas

    By your logic, a lot of M&As;are a “BAD THING” because a company is eliminated. Whatever dude.

    @Anim8me2

    I’m glad to see you completely missed my point. It wasn’t that you guys would love Apple buying Yahoo!, it was that whenever anyone talks bad about Apple, MDN and it’s readers construe it as FUD. But when someone talks bad about Microsoft, it’s talked about as being the word of Lord Jobs’s gospel.

    And man, I just realized there are more Apple product photos on these pages than there are on the Apple website. Give me a break…

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