Why Apple should buy Yahoo

“At the public memorial for Jobs last year, Cook reminded all employees that Steve didn’t want them to always ask themselves ‘what would Steve do,'” Eric Jackson writes for Forbes. “That’s not what Walt Disney wanted and that’s not what Jobs wanted. (Of course, this being Steve Jobs, I’m sure he had lots of strong ideas on core principles for how the company should continue to be run.)”

“One area that we should expect Apple to also go off script in the future is the whole area of acquisitions. To this point, Apple has been most comfortable doing small, tuck-in acquisitions. Siri is a perfect example of this,” Jackson writes. “Yet, it is inevitable that Apple will need to do bigger acquisitions and/or move into new areas beyond just selling phones, computers, iPads, and TVs. The bigger they become, the more difficult it is to keep growing earnings 90% a year.”

Jackson writes, “There are endless possible acquisition targets that investment bankers can dream up for Apple to buy. Facebook and Twitter are probably the sexiest names. They also clearly would help build out Apple’s skills in social Web stuff, where Ping is the most obvious example of where they have failed to connect with users… However, I do think buying Yahoo! makes a lot of sense for Apple. I can already hear the guffaws. Yahoo! seems to be the butt of all Internet stock jokes these days. Why would Apple want to strap a perennial stock loser for the last 5 years like Yahoo! to its back?”

Here’s why:
1. Buying Yahoo! wouldn’t be that expensive.
2. Apple needs to either stay in or get out of the advertising business with iAd.
3. Ironically, beyond an ecosystem of apps, all the big mobile players in the future will need a core stable of amazing mobile apps to differentiate.
4. Search.
5. Patents.
6. Payments.
7. IntoNow.

Much more in the full article here.

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

50 Comments

    1. Oh yes, as if Apple really needs to piss several billion dollars down a black hole. After all, Yahoo has been SO knocking it out of the park of late.

      Wait! I have an even better idea: why not use Apple’s cash to pay off the national debt of Greece? This way, the Greek people can continue to live in denial and go back to creating even more debt. I mean, since the author came up with such a BRILLIANT idea, why not have Apple just throw its cash away?

      Somebody shoot me please. Stupid articles like this make me insane. Did anybody even bother to review the article before the frigtard author decided to push the SEND button?

      I doubt it. Such is what passes for journalism today.

    2. I don’t, Wil. Apple’s philosophy is to create great products. The incredible growth over the past decade or so is a result of that philosophy. Apple does not chase profits or growth as the objective, it is the result.

      When Apple buys Yahoo or starts making some other desperate major acquisition, that’s when I know that the magic within the company is fading and they are looking outside for help. That is when I sell AAPL and hope that the company rapidly works through the inevitable decline and rediscovers its vision.

      Besides, who says that Apple *needs* to keep growing at 90% a year? What is wrong with maintaining a solid and profitable business? In terms of practical human existence, nothing can grow forever. Think about it.

      A desperate search for growth is a recipe for disaster. The same applies to people who seek promotions only to find that they have abandoned the things that they did well and moved beyond their level of competence. They open the door, step in, trip, and the door hits them in the ass on the way back down.

      Be satisfied if Apple stays focused on its core business and its insanely great vision. Good things will follow.

        1. Thanks, ckh. I feel very strongly about this subject because it goes well beyond Apple. Look at what Google is doing, for instance, or Microsoft…looking to expand beyond the core business that made them successful with a shotgun approach that is nothing short of desperate. Microsoft’s purchase of Skype will translate to $B in losses.

          In addition, I am very concerned about the attitude that growth will cure all ills and that big growth is achievable and sustainable. It isn’t – not in the economy and not in any given business.

          If Apple had stopped with the iPod and not taken the leap with the iPhone, then it would not be worth half as much as it is today. The iPod business was leveling out, as it had to. Eventually, the iPhone will do the same – there are only so many potential customers in the world, and Apple will get to a point at which it is replacing handsets for current customers and not attracting significant numbers of new customers. The ride to the top is admittedly exciting. But it is the ability of a company to maintain an installed base with strong customer service and a focus on continual improvement that creates long term success.

          I don’t know how many new, fantastic products that Apple will produce. But this massive phase of growth cannot last forever, or else Apple would eventually own the entire world. The growth will tail off eventually, and there is nothing wrong with that. The financial troubles of the U.S. in recent years were the result of unreasonable expectations – that formerly staid and dependable banks could reliably and safely generate profit growth of 10% to 20% each year by branching into investment banking and other riskier endeavors. Suddenly, no one was satisfied with 5% or 7% returns, and the rush for insane returns blinded people to the fundamental rule that risk and return tend to go hand-in-hand. When “making money from money” became a major focus of the U.S. economy, the U.S. began to stagnate.

    1. Fix it and re-brand it as Apple’s and suddenly the old shit don’t stink. I think Apple does have to get into Search. They should do to Google what Google’s been trying to do to them.

      1. if Apple was successful in Search and drove down Google’s prices for Ads, it would cut straight to the cancerous heart of that wretched company in the only significant source of income they have. It would also serve them right.

      2. Unfortunately that would just bring the attention of regulators the world over towards Apple. Let Google be Google and do what Google does, until they themselves fall foul of the investigators. Apple will dominate quite happily even with Android devices all over the place.

  1. “Yet, it is inevitable that Apple will need to do bigger acquisitions and/or move into new areas beyond just selling phones, computers, iPads, and TVs. The bigger they become, the more difficult it is to keep growing earnings 90% a year.”

    Oh, really?

    And this assumption is based on… what?

    This article is nothing more than another ‘journalist’ trying to spend Apple’s money.

  2. I agree…I’d like to see them buy Yahoo and go after Google. They already stepped into advertising with iAds just take another step in and buy Yahoo. Microsoft has Bing, Google is Google, etc.. I’d also like to see them buy Dell and close it down….lol

  3. It doesn’t seem to fit their M.O. for picking up companies, which appears to be a tightly focused search for specific technology, talent or both.

    This proposal sounds more like an average business school exercise that eventually leads those massive, patched-together conglomerates.

  4. The only possible reason could be 5. Patents.

    1. So what? So is Dell. 😉
    2. They are in.
    3. Duh! Apple has no mobile apps? Idiot.
    4. What can Sire do for you?
    6. Another Duh!
    7. IntoNow? Never heard of it. Must be doing great.

    Does this guy own Yahoo stock???

  5. “There are endless possible acquisition targets that investment bankers can dream up for Apple to buy.”

    Yes, we all know that investment bankers keep coming up with ideas like that, but Apple has a lot more sense than investment bankers.

    Apple has never bought large established companies and certainly not large, failing companies, so they won’t be starting now.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. WA for computation and DuckCuckGo for search. Call the whole thing Siri. it’s not just about search, it’s about personal assistance – could be voice interface or good old fashion typing or multitouch. This would be about 20 times cheaper than buying Yahoo and would give Apple exactly what it needs to offer alternative to Google.

  6. Well, at least Apple won’t need them for their mail system. That is horrible. As for search, I’m not sure how many people actually use Yahoo search. However, I do believe Bing handles the backbone for them.

    1. I disagree on the part where yahoo mail’s UI for iPad is superb. It’s even better than Google’s.

      I personally love the newish Yahoo mail. And they don’t go through my mail like google does.

  7. Yeah, Apple needs to have its own search engine and provide ads on the iPhone, but I would like to see Apple buying IAC (ask.com) and Vimeo, it’s time to take on Apple’s rivals and in a good way, Ask.com and Yahoo.com will provide a lot of patents and search technologies to Siri, if there’s money available, why not acquire Yelp? It’s still cheap.

  8. I’ld bet big money that Apple has had acquisition guys looking at tons and tons of options over the last 6 years, particularly, since iPhone became a vision.

    Apple knows what is going on and where the markets are moving.

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