back to article Microsoft! bids! $44.6bn! for! Yahoo!

Microsoft has made a $44.6bn takeover bid for Yahoo!. Microsoft is offering Yahoo! shareholders a mix of cash and stock under the unsolicited offer. The $31 per share offer represents a massive 62 per cent premium on Yahoo!'s closing price yesterday. Yahoo!'s board of directors promised to look at the offer "carefully and …

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  1. Gianni Straniero
    Gates Halo

    Don't mention the "G" word

    No prizes for guessing which other company prompted this move:

    "Today, the market is increasingly dominated by one player who is consolidating its dominance through acquisition."

    "This combination [MS & Yahoo!] enables synergies related to scale economics of the advertising platform where today there is only one competitor at scale."

  2. paulc
    Black Helicopters

    Typical Microsoft...

    Can't compete with their own product, so they buy an existing one off the shelf... I'm expecting an update to IE shortly (if it goes through and Yahoo takes their money) which will set all searches to Yahoo...

  3. sue

    ARGH!

    No no no no no no no!

    It was bad enough when my stuff became BTYahoo! I like certain things about MS stuff, but please please please keep them separate from Yahoo!

  4. gautam
    Jobs Horns

    Im off Yahoo, then

    If this goes through, Im outta Yahoo and anything to do with them (including emails and portal home page.). Nothings sacred with Microsoft anymore.

  5. W
    Alert

    Business plan...

    ...for just about everything aside from Windows and Office.

    1) Identify opportunity.

    2) Realise someone's already come up with a neat solution.

    3) Attempt to compete (and use questionable tactics if necessary).

    4) Struggle to gain satisfactory foothold.

    5) Buy competitor.

    6) Glue it to Windows.

    6) Profit (doesn't matter, it's driving Windows)?

    Coming soon... MS bids for Nintendo (Wii for Windows)? Or resurrects Sega!?

  6. Finlay Dobbie
    Unhappy

    Zimbra?

    Zimbra is an increasingly attractive alternative to Exchange, and just recently(ish) got purchased by Yahoo. Its future suddenly doesn't look so rosy.

  7. Kris Chaplin
    Gates Horns

    Will! Never! Happen!

    Nuff said

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh great

    there goes the neighbourhood. there's a reason I don't have a hotmail account, it's shit. now I'm going to be forced into one, joy.

  9. W

    Long-winded names

    "Together we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market."

    "Exciting" probably means adding Yahoo's "!" to a typically unwieldy MS name like "My MSN Live Hotmail Book Messenger!".

    Contrast this with Google's simple "G" device...

    "!" vs "G" it is then...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Typical Microsoft routine

    If you cant beat them, buy them..

    as long as you have a big wallet

  11. Steven
    Alert

    Ahem!

    Microsoft! deal! smacks! of! desperation!

  12. Mark Rendle
    Gates Horns

    "Today this market is increasingly dominated by one player"

    And we're very cross because it's not us.

  13. Nick
    Gates Halo

    Holy! Anti!

    Holy! Anti! Competitiveness! Enquiry! Batman!

    You can be sure Goooooogle will bitching about this in due course. Any chance Google might try and buy Apple now?

  14. luke peters

    Priceless

    "Today this market is increasingly dominated by one player."

    Ha ha ha I never thought M$ would ever say this about another company!

  15. Rob Sked
    Thumb Up

    A year has gone by . . . .

    "A year has gone by, and the competitive situation has not improved"

    Read between the lines, and it sounds like Microsoft are almost saying "we need your help [against Google] and are prepared to pay for it"

  16. Christopher Reeve's Horse
    Gates Horns

    Monopoly Money...

    What's this? Microsoft trying to suggest that monoploies are bad and competition is good? HA! When it suits them perhaps...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This just shows google's leadership

    So in one hand we have Yahoo, who say they can improve but haven't really improved.

    In the other hand we've Microsoft, who has a plan to kill Google, but now the Microsoft plan is to buy Yahoo. Their plan is so serious, that they're trying to buy yahoo...again. What is the microsoft plan to kill google if yahoo doesn't wants to be bought, try to buy it again the next year? Why all the spending in R+D in their online division, why live.com, if their plan is to buy a company that they admit that it's in bad shape?

    This just shows how desesperate is microsoft.

  18. Chris Walker
    Gates Horns

    Value for money?

    $44.6bn?

    Thats seriously over valuing Yahoo!

    By $44.59bn

  19. Andrew

    Microhoo

    Has a nice ring to it

  20. Reg Varney

    Why????

    OK, well let's start from the premise that valuations of internet businesses are nearly as insane as they were during the dotcom bubble (previous purchases of bits of MySpace etc show that), but what on earth do MS get from this - the Yahoo brand?

    As far as I can see, Yahoo has a crappy portal that looks like it was thrown together in about 1992; an email service; what else?

    MS appears to be throwing 44 BILLION DOLLARS at something they already do (arguably better) themselves, in exchange for a declining market brand (seriously, who uses Yahoo any more? 5-10 years ago, maybe, but now?) that is basically dead in the water.

    What am I missing here?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft! Have a long way to go...

    I've worked with internet technologies for 10 years at an ISP. Searching has become synonymous with Google. Everyone I know says 'Google it' instead of 'search' for something. In addition most people I know have Google as their homepage.

    What can a Yahoo!/Microsoft hybrid really offer that they're not doing already?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    How much?

    Yahoo! is worth that much???? Bloody hell, it's always seemed like such a cheap manky, spam ridden site. Like the Lidl's of search engines. The shop you'd rather not go to in case you catch something.

    Google would be Tesco online I guess.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Just look at the desperation

    This act seriously shows how vulnerable they feel by the domination of Google in WWW. Wonder what excuse Yahoo can come up with this time. After all Steve's made them an 'offer they can't resist' or can they ???

  24. Edward Pearson

    MightySoft!

    Here they come to save the day!!

    Thank God we have a company like Microsoft who're willing to challenge monopolies at every turn!

  25. PaulK
    Stop

    It's the 1st of February...

    ...not the 1st of April.

  26. Chris
    Coat

    A study into..

    exactly how many Yahoo! Stock! Holders! actually fell of their chair when reading this.

  27. George Johnson
    Alert

    Nothing new here

    So it's the usual MS strategy is it? So rather than bother developing a better gathering engine for MSN, lets simply buy a huge database from

    someone else, that already has all the data we want.

    Oh and and Yahoo execs better speak to MS building facilties to make sure they get the same contractors in to secure the furniture, especially if Mr Ballmer is making visits.

  28. Steven Walker
    Unhappy

    Oh dear

    i suppose I will have to stop using yahoo now.

  29. Robert Sneddon

    Go on Steve

    Hit 'em with the other chair!

  30. Ismael
    Gates Halo

    yeah, who Google think they are?

    the only company that can hold a monopoly is Microsoft. In the online services area, we must have competition.

    In the software area, not.

  31. Tawakalna
    Gates Halo

    f*ck me!

    that's crazy money!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Definitely WTF!

    Looks like the rationale here is online advertising, according to MS's statement & letter to Yahoo! (apparently there's a 'synergy', as opposed to a 'gestalt').

    So expect a Yahoo! portal tightly integrated with later versions of Windows/Internet Ex-sploder, with Office online somewhere in the mix (and lots of lovely, lovely Web 2.00), all supported by absolutely tons of online ads.

    Can't really see any of the competition watchdogs doing too much about the proposed acquisition, as they're already nervous about the Googleplex.

  33. Anne Bokma
    Coat

    you suck so....

    So Microsoft is offering a ton of cash and saying that Yahoo! sucks anyway, the old stick and carrot approach I pressume?

    Who stole My coat?

  34. Philip J.F. Quinlan
    Gates Horns

    Hotmail! for! the! 21st! Century!

    Wow, MS are to become the largest users of open source software on the planet, and pay US$44.6 bn for the privilege or will they migrate to their own dogfood and bring Yahoo! up to the wonderful standard we have come to expect from Hotmail.

    Icon, 'cos Bill runs BSD now

  35. Geoff Mitchell
    Jobs Horns

    SAD THAT MSF HAS TO SPEND $44Billion

    rather than innovate to compete to Google.

    Sad that Yahoo is worth only $44 billion .

  36. Philip Nicholls Silver badge

    Dollar a search?

    Expensive way to expand its customer base.

    A better business model may be to pay each user a dollar for every search through MS live. 44,6bn buys a LOT of searches. The planet times 8,

    PhilipN

  37. Rob Davis
    Thumb Down

    Bad news for yahoo-owned flickr.com and del.icio.us?

    Yahoo own Flickr - one of the best photo sharing websites used by pro photographers and the rest of us. Acclaimed for its no-fuss minimalist ease of use of its many features. Yahoo also own del.icio.us is a versatile website bookmarking/favouriting tool, again winning on ease of use and simplicity.

    I would hope that these invaluable tools are not affected by an acquisition. Microsoft may try to promote uptake of its own proprietary technologies by introducing them into these tools. And that would restrict how they can be used. Compatibility is the enemy of competition and using proprietary technology as a safeguard to profits is an outdated idea. Google have had phenomenal success without needing this approach.

  38. matt

    timing

    nice timing of this when google announce their quaterly results, i guess microsoft are hoping to mitigate any regulatory questions by hiding behind googles massive earnings last year/quater

  39. andy gibson
    Coat

    If ever...

    the exlcaimation marks were necessary, today's the day!

  40. Robin
    Gates Halo

    @paulc

    What, you mean like Google?

  41. Hugh Cowan
    Gates Horns

    El! Reg! Headlines!

    I'm worried about the El Reg Headlines if this does go through. Will El Reg put a ! at the end of all Microsoft stories?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Hotmail and Yahoo Mail

    What % of the webmail market share would Hotmail and Yahoo mail have together? Not sure what other segment this would lead to a more or less monopoloy.

    Makes some kind of strategic sense to me. No idea on the financials.

    Just hope MS don't screw up Flickr and Del.icio.us.

  43. Jamie Davis

    Hmmm

    I would like a credible alternative to Google. I do actually like the idea of another big player... Yahoo! and MSN can't truly be said to be in the same leaugue in terms of revenue (that's MSN - not Microsoft as a whole). With any luck they may use the privacy angle to try and hurt Google. It would be nice if it wasn't horded in quite so an alarming way by Google.

    On the other hand, I have a feeling that it will be a case of two sinking swimmers clinging to each other as they both drown.

  44. James Pickett
    Happy

    Tricky?

    "either cash or Microsoft stock"

    Cash for me, I think. Lovely to think that Ballmer is grumpy again because someone else looks like being a monopoly...

  45. Feef Lovecraft
    Flame

    Spam soon

    Due to the upcoming merger of Microsoft with Yahoo! There are new plans to charge for both MSN (And Microsoft Live!) and Yahoo Instant Messangers if you forward this e-mail to 100,000,000 people Microsoft and Yahoo will track it and pay you $0.02 for each "impression" by e-mail as well as reconsider charging for the services.

  46. ian
    Unhappy

    Typical yahoo!

    "Can't compete with their own product, so they buy an existing one off the shelf"... sounds just like the Yahoo modus operandi to me. Flickr!, etc. A match made in heaven

  47. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Yahoo!!!

    Yahoo! Toolbars! In Xbox! Blades!!

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ballmer

    "Together we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market. Developers, developers, developers!!"

  49. Paul Charters

    Oh Noes...

    '....someone is monopolising the market and it's not us!' - MS

    Strangely enough I think it would be a downgrade of Microsoft for it to buy Yahoo!

  50. Carl

    Yahoo for Windoze? Ha!

    Yahoo runs on BSD, MySQL, Apache(I think) and a goodly chunk of PHP if I recall. First that is going to happen is some propellor heads from Redmond are going to try welding Server2003, SQLServer and IIS into place. I imagine Jeremy Zawodny's resignation will not be too far away. Cue mushroom cloud. Goodbye Yahoo. Goodbye investment.

    As for Zimbra (the company) - built on services for Zimbra (the Open Source platform). The services company is toast but the software isn't. Fork and be merry, lovers of freedom.

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