Yahoo bid is bad news
Among many integration issues, 3 stand out
Amicrosoft-yahoo merger movie listings … I could go board, smacks of despera-would be even worse on and on.) tion. Microsoft is notorious
than the mess AOL In fact, the amount of for taking a build-versus-caused by acquiring overlap reminds me of buy approach. The com-Time Warner. Hewlett-Packard absorbing pany buys only when it
The problems are Compaq, the only real gain can’t build something good
many, but three really stand of which was the elimi- enough or fast enough.
out. nation of a competitor. If Microsoft prefers to
Microsoft will destroy the Microsoft-Yahoo is similar, buy Yahoo, what does that
best things about Yahoo. methinks. say about its new services
Most of Yahoo’s best tech- Integration will distract platform strategy or the
nologies—including those Microsoft and sidetrack state of its advertising and
highly efficient data cen- resources. From 1998 to search infrastructure? The
ters—use open-source, free 2001, Microsoft lost its way, acquisition bid is tacit
or other non-Microsoft software. Microsoft can’t change
its nature—it will make
over Yahoo stuff in its own There is too much
image, negating the best product, service and
benefits from the most valu-
able assets. customer overlap.
There is too much product, service and customer
overlap. For years, I’ve said mostly because of the dis- admission by Microsoft
that Microsoft’s competi- traction caused by the U.S. executives that they don’t
tive obsession with Google antitrust case. That event have confidence the com-was misplaced. Yahoo is shows how poorly Microsoft pany can do what’s needed
a much bigger Microsoft handles distraction. fast enough.
competitor because of the Right now, Microsoft is Yahoo shareholders would
many more places the two executing better than it has be foolish not to accept
companies compete. in years, even considering Microsoft’s premium offer;
The worst kind of acqui- the issues around Windows Yahoo’s board would be fool-sition occurs when there is Vista. The process of inte- ish if it did. Microsoft was
too much overlap, which is grating Yahoo would dis- foolish to make the offer,
the case with Microsoft and rupt normal business and and its top executives will
Yahoo. (Think advertising, slow down—perhaps even be fools should there be a
alerts, autos, calendaring, break—a machine that other- merger. ´
domains, finance, e-mail, wise is working well.
instant messaging, localized The acquisition an- Microsoft Watch Editor Joe
services, mapping, music, nouncement, made with- Wilcox can be reached at
mobile browsing/services, out the support of Yahoo’s firstname.lastname@example.org.