Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo's Dangerous Stock Dip (Hey, Microsoft, Don't Blow It!)

Right now, Yahoo shares are flirting with a dangerous threshold of below $20 a share–at this moment, shares are at $20.88.

Of course, the last time Yahoo (YHOO) went under the $20 level is when Microsoft (MSFT) mounted its takeover bid for the company, which was unveiled Feb. 1.

The price right now means Yahoo has a market share of almost $29 billion, substantially below the offer of $33 a share Microsoft offered that was worth upwards of $41 billion.

“Depressed does not even begin to describe it,” said one major Yahoo shareholder, in response to BoomTown’s query about what the mood was among Yahoo investors.

As I wrote earlier today, Microsoft does not seem interested in picking up Yahoo now at any price.

But if Yahoo shares decline further, it should think twice. And then it should slap itself silly, until it realizes the opportunity it might be missing.

Who cares if Yahoo partnered with Google (GOOG) to spite it? Who cares if its management pretzeled itself into every shape possible to avoid Microsoft? Who cares if Yahoo’s board has consistently misbehaved and sent the software giant really mean letters?

Why? Because, for all its management problems, Yahoo remains Microsoft’s single most important path to winning in the online display business and at least keeping itself in the game with Google in search and the search-ad business.

Yahoo is a much tarnished jewel, to be sure, but a jewel nonetheless.

And, if you really think hard about it, it is still Microsoft’s best chance to shine.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work