Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

If AOL Is Amherst and Yahoo Is Yale, Why Aren't They Giving the Merger the Old College Try?

If there is a corporate merger brewing, there inevitably is always a code name for each company involved.

In the case of Yahoo’s merger talks with AOL, which are ongoing, the pair seem to be aiming for a tony image, using the names of two upscale institutions of higher education: Yale University and Amherst College.

Why? Obviously, the first letter of each school corresponds with the name of each company, but BoomTown could not discern the mystery.

It’s certainly not because of the college pedigrees of the players involved.

Time Warner (TWX), which owns the AOL online unit, is run by Jeff Bewkes, who graduated from Yale and then received his MBA from Stanford University.

Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Jerry Yang is a Stanford man all the way, getting undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from the famous school in the heart of Silicon Valley.

And, according to sources, the deal might take another semester to come together, not being signed until the end of the year, if it happens at all.

What’s taking so long? After all, two key obstacles are now out of the way–the controversial search advertising partnership with Google (GOOG) and AOL’s earnings (both were bad news, with the Yahoogle deal dumped and the results poor).

Nonetheless, there are still price issues, as Yahoo shares wobble, as well as worries about integration.

But, joked one honest player in the talks: “Neither of us moves as quickly as we need to, which got us into the trouble in the first place and is kind of how this is playing out too.”

Ain’t that the “lux et veritas”? That would be Yale’s motto: Light and truth.


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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