Help Me, Obi-GOOG Kenobi, You're My Only Hope
If Yahoo is looking for a deus ex machina to resolve its seemingly insoluble difficulties, it best not look to News Corp.
The company, which just acquired Dow Jones (owner of this site) and which posted a moderate rise in fiscal second-quarter profit yesterday, has no plans to yank Yahoo from the jaws of Microsoft. “We are definitely not going to make a bid for Yahoo,” News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch said during a conference call to discuss the company’s earnings. “We’re not really interested at this stage.”
So who is interested? Well, apparently no one. Comcast has declined to make an offer, NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker dismissed rumors that NBC was considering a bid during a conference call with JPMorgan analysts earlier this week, and the financing and operational risks are likely too high for a private-equity bidder. Seems the $44.6 billion price tag Microsoft’s slapped on Yahoo has given everyone a bit of sticker shock.
Everyone but Google, that is. And Google can’t really make an offer for Yahoo. With its absolute dominance of the search market, the “troubling questions” a Yahoo-Google alliance would raise are far, far more troubling than the “troubling questions” Google claims Microsoft’s hostile bid for Yahoo raises.
So what are these “many options” Yahoo claims to be evaluating? There are only two, it seems:
- Accept the deal.
- Turn it down flat and then accept under duress after an acrimonious shareholders meeting.