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Microsoft is willing to lay down $50 billion for Yahoo Inc. say reports

The search and advertising industry could change drastically over the next year if Microsoft has its way with Yahoo. In the last several weeks, it was well publicized that Microsoft and Google went head on in a bidding war for Internet advertising giant DoubleClick. Eventually, Google won and settled with DoubleClick for roughly $3.1 billion -- a sum that had analysts questioning Microsoft's true motives.

At the time of the acquisition, Microsoft had roughly $25 billion of available cash in its bank; more than double that of Google's $11.9 billion. Observing these figures, it was odd to see Microsoft back out of a deal it could easily win. "The best side to be on in a bidding war is the losing side," said legendary Wall Street tycoon Warren Buffet. Buffet is implying that the loser in a bidding war has forced the winner to over-pay for something.

Today, Forbes is reporting that Microsoft is in negotiations with Yahoo for a possible acquisition that could be worth $50 billion. According to the report, Microsoft is feeling greater pressure to compete in the online advertising space. Just recently, Yahoo announced its acquisition of online advertising firm Right Media for $680 million. While this is far from Google's $3.1 billion expense on DoubleClick, it does indicate that Yahoo is already quite a force in online advertising.

Another sticking point for Microsoft is the fact that both Google and Yahoo are ahead of the game when it comes to search. Microsoft has been playing catch up to Google and Yahoo with MSN Search, but having Yahoo under its belt would surely set the company onto a different playing field altogether.

Despite an impending deal with Yahoo, Microsoft hasn’t taken its eyes completely off the Google – DoubleClick deal. Microsoft is loudly voicing its opinion against the deal and has asked regulators to carefully monitor the acquisition.

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Has to be said
By ahkey on 5/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Has to be said
By BMFPitt on 5/4/2007 11:08:04 AM , Rating: 4
You make the assumption that Microsoft could make and OS that had every feature anyone could ever want, a great UI, and charge $99 for it without tons of people still complaining about it.

RE: Has to be said
By FITCamaro on 5/4/2007 11:47:15 AM , Rating: 1
While it doesn't have every possible feature anyone could ever want (what OS ever will?), in my mind they have an OS with a great UI that they charge around $99 for. It's called Windows Media Center 2005. I personally could care less about flashy interfaces. I just want an OS that works, runs stably, is reasonably secure, does what I need it to do, works with the majority of software out there, and doesn't cost a lot. Media Center achieves those needs.

The only real interests I have for Vista is the better user account implementation and user permissions and DX10. I could care less about Aeroglass as I'll likely use the classic desktop thats XP like.

RE: Has to be said
By Tewt on 5/4/2007 1:15:21 PM , Rating: 1
Since I'm in video editing I want an OS (and programs) that make good use of 4GB RAM or more. Just waiting for the other software people to keep up. Also, I would like an OS that makes better use of RAM. On my laptop, it's frustrating to wait for the crappy 4200 RPM to speed up when I'm just typing. Yes, it is noticeable...start the hard drive spin up....then the letters start appearing. Ugh, frustrating how many things that you think should go through just RAM(512 on my laptop) such as typing in Word or surfing. Weird because I dont' notice it on my desktop.

I don't understand how Google has become such a behomoth since I rarely use their site and can't think of anything else I use from them. But I can understand why Microsoft would want to buy Yahoo. Just surprised they weren't more forward-thinking and didn't see the trends before everyone else and didn't buy them (or Google for that fact) when they were smaller and cheaper.

RE: Has to be said
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 1:21:28 PM , Rating: 1
You'll have to change to the 64-bit ones (including apps). "32-bits" IS 4G (and some of that is needed for overhead things so user space has to be smaller). Can't do more unless you want to go back to old fashion memory bank switching (UGLY and SLOW). Their 64-bit OS's can use massive memory. Of course one needs a suitable processor, MB, etc to support that memory too. And you need 64-bit video apps, probably 64-bit drivers, 64-bit utilities (Scenalyzer come in 64 bits?). Etc.

RE: Has to be said
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 1:25:59 PM , Rating: 1
P.S. - I uze google a zillion times a day both at home and at work. It's essential to me (some other search engine could theoretically do too, but Google seems to give me the best results).

RE: Has to be said
By RW on 5/4/2007 9:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm using google too most of the time but I think I could use any other search engine if it would be as powerful/eficient as google is with the condition that the other search engine to have not only the default .com search page but regional search pages like google has where u can easily select the option to search pages written in my base language or from my base country.

RE: Has to be said
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 1:42:27 PM , Rating: 1
You can set your system to not power down your drive after a timeout, that'll help (sounds like that was happening). You also can get faster drives than 4200 rpm for laptops, as well as the newer flash replacements (albeit $$$). Those aren't OS things so much as laptop power saving issues (as well as issues about you not wanting to lose what's in memory of you yank out the battery). Might also suggest a desktop for video work.

P.S. - Of course doing those suggestions above make the battery go dead faster too. :-)

RE: Has to be said
By creathir on 5/4/2007 11:48:14 AM , Rating: 1
And what qualifies their OSs that are out as being bad?

Vista, in my opinion (obviously not yours) is the best OS made to date. Period. Its an opinion.

Microsoft has to charge for the software it develops. It is a company that has 30,000 programmers in the Seattle area alone. 30,000! Lets just say the average salary is $75,000. (Prob. higher)

That would mean every year they had to dish out $2.2 Billion. If the average OS unit shipped is only $200, they would have to ship 11.2 million units every year. Should be easy enough to do, but given that they have MILLIONS of shareholders they need to please, the more the better.

Microsoft is not a charity, they are not out there aspousing their ideals and creating software "beacuse it is fun". This is a business, and the purpose, is to make money. Period.

- Creathir

RE: Has to be said
By hubajube on 5/4/2007 12:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
Lets just say the average salary is $75,000. (Prob. higher)
Most likely it is lower. Microsoft doesn't pay high wages but their benefits package is supposedly very good and just having Microsoft on your resume is a bonus.

RE: Has to be said
By masteraleph on 5/4/2007 12:33:19 PM , Rating: 2
$75k is probably not an unreasonable estimate. I know that summer workers are prorated for a $60k salary, and that would obviously be just starting out.

RE: Has to be said
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 1:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
Being an engineer, and one who has former colleagues who have gone on to work at Microsoft, the average is probably higher. Yes, they've great stock bonus plans and the like, but they're also supposed to only hire the smarter/better folk as well who would be higher priced (the folk I know who went there were VERY sharp people). It was mentioned that interns were being paid at a 60K rate. There is a LARGE difference in salary between someone out (or not even out yet) of school and someone experienced (also a large difference in quality of result as well). So given that I think they've a relatively experienced employee base the average is probably above the middle of the range.

RE: Has to be said
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 1:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
What happens when pretty much everybody has bought their copy of XP (which is a good solid OS). Shut down?

RE: Has to be said
By PrezWeezy on 5/4/2007 2:00:56 PM , Rating: 2
Hence diversification (buying Yahoo) or start working on the new one (Vienna.) There is also office, and lots of other products that Microsoft puts out. His logic is slightly flawed in saying that the OS's are their only source of income, but at the same time there are far more people working there than programers.

RE: Has to be said
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 8:58:19 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, exactly. And why Microsoft (and others) have been trying to get out of selling software and into a service sort of mode where one has to continuously send them money 'forever', that way they avoid the market saturating and having to change businesses repeatedly. This also is the idea around web applications and getting people used to them before having better versions for a monthly fee (forever). Also the idea behind subscription music services. Sustainable fees ad infinitum. Stop payments and one has nothing. I used to have a friend who liked to joke, making fun of drug dealers: "I'll give you the first one free!". Much the same sort of business philosophy because they'll then have one as a customer forever.

RE: Has to be said
By kmmatney on 5/4/2007 9:12:09 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should just make their search engine better. I use it occasionally, but it usually doesn't give me the results I'm looking for. It is did, I'd use it. I'm sure they could improve it, and improve the whole MSH site in general, for less than 60 Billion dollars.

RE: Has to be said
By ncage on 5/5/2007 4:05:09 AM , Rating: 2
Where do you think a majority of googles revenue comes from and what its whole buisness model is built around?


Why buy Yahoo?
By Mitch101 on 5/4/2007 11:09:51 AM , Rating: 5
Any bids on K-Fed's search engine yet?

RE: Why buy Yahoo?
By zombiexl on 5/4/2007 11:15:46 AM , Rating: 5
I'm not sure whats funnier. The fact that you had that link ready to post or the fact that I clicked it thinking it was a joke and it really exists.

RE: Why buy Yahoo?
By jtesoro on 5/4/2007 11:53:13 AM , Rating: 2
It got me curious as well! After some looking around, this thing isn't as K-Fed centric as I initially thought. There's similar sites with other artists such as Meat Loaf, Maroon 5, etc.

From what I understand, the thing which runs this is a search company called Prodege that uses ads to generate revenue (what else?). What makes it different is that it partners with other organizations to get people to use the Prodege engine.

The idea is that organizations (in this case K-Fed company or whatever it's called) leverages their property (K-Fed) to get people to use the specially branded search engine ( In return for building traffic, Prodege shares ad revenue with them.

Interesting to find out how this is working out. Hmmm, maybe I'll use the Maroon 5 search site to "google" for some stats!

RE: Why buy Yahoo?
By tuteja1986 on 5/4/2007 10:45:22 PM , Rating: 1
Does Microsoft wants to kill themself... 50billion for Yahoo is supper stupid. I think Microsoft should spend the cash on trying to enter new market. This company has lost its path and has to much cash in hand and don't want to do so they are so crazy into buying Google. Why don't they try to buy sony instead... that would make teh crap loads of money instead of buying Yahoo.

RE: Why buy Yahoo?
By TheDoc9 on 5/7/2007 11:37:14 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree, they could learn a lesson from the tabacco companies.

RE: Why buy Yahoo?
By listtwist on 5/4/2007 1:55:17 PM , Rating: 2
Go to and you discover a nice little 'enhanced by Yahoo Search' logo. It appears that the company provides someone in the middle between organizations and a search engine to take care of the development & hosting of a search site (and take half or more of the ad profit).

RE: Why buy Yahoo?
By RW on 5/4/2007 9:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see why all this fuss about buying online advertising company's ?
I can understand that they could win some money from online ads but from an user point of view the online advertising is worthless and annoying and I've just got used to ignore the ads as they are not even on the webpage I'm visiting.

as always...
By Quiksel on 5/4/2007 11:12:36 AM , Rating: 5
DT has the BEST pics of Ballmer. I swear I think you guys have hard drives full of just pics of him for any possible headline imaginable.

nice work :)


RE: as always...
By Mitch101 on 5/4/2007 11:22:01 AM , Rating: 5
I vote when he retires from Microsoft he replaces Bob Barker on the Price is Right.

RE: as always...
By Russell on 5/4/2007 4:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
Bob Barker should replace him as MS's CEO.

RE: as always...
By Sahrin on 5/4/2007 5:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
Showcase showdown showcase showdown showcase showdown showcase showdown!

RE: as always...
By oTAL on 5/7/2007 4:18:59 PM , Rating: 2
"The price is wrong, bitch!"

Problem Solving with $$
By Supa on 5/4/2007 1:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
What Microsoft can't beat, Microsoft buys.


RE: Problem Solving with $$
By rushfan2006 on 5/4/2007 2:28:04 PM , Rating: 4
What Microsoft can't beat, Microsoft buys.

Yeah...but you should have included a fine print dislaimer like ".....and so does the rest of the business world since the dawn of time"....

But I forgot we just want to focus on Microsoft. ;)

The problem is when people comment on such business deals -- they severely over simplify things...usually because they react out of emotion....but sometimes its because they really don't understand the world of business.

CEO's and board of directors, at least the good ones -- are wise to invest in competition when they feel the time is right (which in and of itself is determined, I can almost guarantee you, by months of research and many many board meetings on the issue) to make a purchase (or at least attempt to).

Also remember one can't doesn't just "automatically" assume a nother merely on the basis of they have the money to do so.

You could have $50 TRILLION dollars and that doesn't automatically mean you just speak and a company is yours. It has to be approved by the company you are seeking to acquire.

All to often people react like company A is "stealing" company B ...and we are supposed to be "poor poor company B was bought out by the evil company A"....yeah where do you think that money goes in the buyout.....INTO THE COMPANY THEY ARE BUYING....if the employees don't get a piece of that -- be mad at the top brass of the company being bought for that...not the ones doing the buying.

RE: Problem Solving with $$
By Nekrik on 5/4/2007 3:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
Most companies, maybe not one the size of Yahoo!, but smaller ones, jump through hoops of fire trying to make themselves look attractive enough to be bought out buy a company such as Microsoft or Google. They tend to cut off anything not making money, actually redecorate for the visiting execs, make sure that code is as secure and solid as we can make it, etc...

RE: Problem Solving with $$
By sxr7171 on 5/5/2007 11:30:59 AM , Rating: 1
You went from 3rd person to 1st person in your post. Freudian slip?

RE: Problem Solving with $$
By Supa on 5/4/2007 7:00:39 PM , Rating: 1
Good argument, but you're extracting too many self-created assumptions from one simple statement.


RE: Problem Solving with $$
By Axbattler on 5/5/2007 8:53:33 AM , Rating: 2
In most cases, I am inclined to agree.

Still, I, for one, would say 'poor, poor Aureal'. It was doubtfully voluntary, and though you could blame Aureal from going bankrupt in the first place, it was at the very least, partially caused by the Creative's failed lawsuit. As a strategy, it worked wonders. But it does not promote healthy business competition.

More than 'poor, poor Aureal', I am going to say 'poor, poor consumers'. I am going to say that the X-Fi is a decent card. Yet I can't be wonder what the gaming sound card industry would be like had Aureal sticked around. I think many who used their products would disagree that they had a little gem with potential with them.

RE: Problem Solving with $$
By sxr7171 on 5/5/2007 11:32:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, Aureal was good and I had drivers that were actually stable to go along with it.

By TheDoc9 on 5/4/2007 11:02:47 AM , Rating: 2
Talk about big news, this is just insane. They'll probably ruin it by changing the yahoo name in some way and associating it with msn.

RE: wow
By Scabies on 5/4/2007 11:27:28 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, just you wait, either

well Yahoo messenger contacts have been able to interact with Windows/Live messenger contacts for a while so a legit merge shouldnt be too suprising/earth-shifting (functionality-wise)

RE: wow
By Jack Ripoff on 5/4/2007 11:34:00 AM , Rating: 2
Windows Live Ads?

RE: wow
By Houdani on 5/4/2007 1:01:50 PM , Rating: 2
How about...

Yahoo toppling google.
By Mitch101 on 5/4/2007 11:07:37 AM , Rating: 2
Yahoo does topple google in searches.

Do a compare to

RE: Yahoo toppling google.
By animedude on 5/4/2007 11:14:50 AM , Rating: 2
That's traffic not search traffic...

RE: Yahoo toppling google.
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 1:56:52 PM , Rating: 1
Says that the is the destination 11% of the time.

51% is mail (wonder if that counts "groups", the mailing lists must have massive traffic).

RE: Yahoo toppling google.
By animedude on 5/4/2007 3:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
At best, 11% + 3%, is only 14%. Comparing to 65% + 10%, I don't see how Yahoo toppling google in search traffic.

By donttrustme on 5/4/2007 11:16:22 AM , Rating: 2
Well Google has acquired almost 65% share in the advertisement field compared to 25% of combined share of Microsoft and Yahoo. So Google has got an edge here. Also its a fact that Google is somewhat dominating in the search market.

But yahoo has an edge over Microsoft and Google in the e-Mail Segment..(Jus a speculation) so this is a great advantage for Microsoft. Also Yahoo's Stock jumped to 15% after the reaction to the rumors.

RE: hmmm....
By DublinGunner on 5/4/2007 11:23:52 AM , Rating: 2


RE: hmmm....
By FITCamaro on 5/4/2007 11:49:47 AM , Rating: 2
How about Yasoft?

Sounds all cute and fuzzy. In reality its a manhunting robot plotting global domination, willing to kill anyone who gets in its way.........

RE: hmmm....
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 1:53:31 PM , Rating: 1
Well Google has acquired almost 65% share in the advertisement field compared to 25% of combined share of Microsoft and Yahoo. So Google has got an edge here. Also its a fact that Google is somewhat dominating in the search market.

Google has more advertising than all the TV stations and networks, every magazine printed, all direct snail mail campaigns, and every newspaper printed -- all combined ?

That's pretty impressive!

By Legolias24 on 5/4/2007 11:56:06 AM , Rating: 1
While it is commonly reported that Microsoft has a pile of cash in the gotta wonder about the finances of being able to afford a deal like this. I sure hope they (Microsoft) do their homework on a deal like this because that's a helluvalot of cash to fork over. They're not going to have much if any money left over for emergency situations (although I'm sure they'd probably have no issue in getting a "loan" so to speak).

I'm only making the comment about having money left over for emergencies because I've seen a lot of postings on topics related to the 360 or PS3, that talk about Microsoft being able to afford year over year losses in their Gaming division because of the reserve cash that they have. But with a deal like this, they better have some really emergency funds tucked away some where in the event any of their divisions starts seeing lots of "red"!

By darkpaw on 5/4/2007 12:03:15 PM , Rating: 4
They do have a lot of cash, but any deal would likely be a cash/stock mix so its not like they'd be cleaning out their piggy banks.

That said, sure the gaming division is a loser in general. However, I think the figure was given as $1B lost in total over the entire xbox generation to buy a roughly 25% marketshare. $1B to MS is little more then money found under couch cushions and they did achieve remarkable results in marketshare gain considering the competition.

By Tilmitt on 5/6/2007 5:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
Marketshare above profit was the rallying call of the dot com bubble...

What Micrsoft needs...
By borowki on 5/4/2007 9:49:29 PM , Rating: 3 a massive layoff to get rid of the dead wood. The company's Internet operation just sucks. I have had Hotmail service for over a decade--before it was acquisted--and the quality just has steadily declined: service is unreliable and slow, the user interface gets more unintuitive with each "upgrade," etc. MSN is crap--doesn't even work correctly sometimes with IE7. What the heck? MSDN is a disaster. Pages are moved around for no apparent reason. Make a shortcut to one and chances are it'll be dead a month later. And usually half the links returned by the search figure are dead too. The only reliable way to get to any Microsoft page, I've found, is to use Google. And My god it's a joke. They have all these features that seem cool in theory but which don't work half the time. How can you screw up with that kind of money? It just ridiculous.

RE: What Micrsoft needs...
By Xenoid on 5/6/2007 4:03:31 AM , Rating: 2
Don't know why this voted down but it is completely true. I cannot stand using any of the things you mentioned. Trying to find fixes for really strange bugs, dev stuff, or MSN networks are all awful.

And hey, I like MS so don't assume I'm just a hater...or a blind follower.

By stugatz on 5/4/2007 10:58:05 AM , Rating: 2
The funny thing is, that they could pay cash like that, and not even run out. Not that they would structure the deal like that anyway, but they could.

RE: Funny
By Griswold on 5/4/2007 12:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yes please, cash only. 50 billion in 10 dollar bank notes. Thats a hell of a lot suitcases to fill.

buy google instead
By Murst on 5/4/2007 1:02:59 PM , Rating: 2
They should just buy google instead. If you're spending 50 billion, what's 50 more...

RE: buy google instead
By RussianSensation on 5/4/2007 1:37:43 PM , Rating: 2
Umm Google is worth around $147 billion in market cap, not $100 billion. Yahoo was around $42 before the rumour. That's comparing apples to oranges. Also what benefits would google get out of merging with microsoft? It doesn't need extra cash...

Everybody is on a buying spree...........
By crystal clear on 5/5/2007 11:36:38 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is feeling greater pressure to compete in the online advertising space.

Microsoft on Thursday said it had acquired Screen Tonic SA, a European manufacturer of software designed to connect advertisers with users of mobile phones and other digital devices

Screen Tonic's STAMP (Structural Time Series Modeling) technology is designed to format digital ads for all major mobile phone platforms. Its customers and partners include McDonald's, Reebok and Coca Cola.

Separately, Microsoft said Thursday that it has completed the acquisition of Tellme Networks, a Mountain View, CA-based developer of voice recognition software. The final price was not announced.

Takeover rumour orgy hits Reuters, EMI and Yahoo!

By viperpa on 5/5/2007 5:41:06 PM , Rating: 1
Microsoft's aquisition of Yahoo is not going to make things better. It just takes one less player off the playing field. If Yahoo or Microsoft can't compete with Google on there own, how is combining going to better compete with Google? All it does is add more money to Micorosoft's coffers but in the end Google will be on top. Hate to say it but Google has been and always will be better at search and making more money from advertising.

Another Note
By lukasbradley on 5/4/2007 11:01:49 AM , Rating: 2
Another thing to note in the acquisition cost is the user-base for non-search related functions, such as Yahoo Games, Fantasy Sports, Email, etc. Microsoft brings their online Office features into competition with Google Docs (or vice versa), for which Yahoo has no real solution.

I think this is a good move for both parties.

By fijillian on 5/4/2007 11:09:01 AM , Rating: 2
That is an insane amount of money. It may be a good move for both companies, if that happens Google will have some competition (maybe :) )

By Webgod on 5/4/2007 12:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
I can imagine the theme to Jaws playing on in Yahoo's Sunnyvale, California headquarters...

By Mudvillager on 5/4/2007 4:48:18 PM , Rating: 2

By Jeff7181 on 5/4/2007 9:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
Would this just be a behind the scenes acquisition, or might we see a merger of Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail?

... assuming the deal is made, of course.

Buy anything?
By eman 7613 on 5/5/2007 7:12:56 PM , Rating: 1
Its my understanding that M$ was declared a monopoly and is not allow to purchase corperations that directly compete with them (which would include yahoo and Googble b/c of MSN).

I could be wrong, but im seeing a giant gaping hole here.

By masteraleph on 5/4/2007 11:39:59 AM , Rating: 5
Wow, an amazingly well thought out response about the amazing illegal power of a company that combined would still be far behind google in search and advertising share. Yap, a complete monopoly, for sure.

By hubajube on 5/4/2007 12:16:24 PM , Rating: 5
If I could rate you down further. I would.

By 3kliksphilip on 5/4/2007 1:33:10 PM , Rating: 1
I've helped you there ;)

By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 1:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't the de-ratings go away once you post to the topic?

By bplewis24 on 5/4/2007 4:54:08 PM , Rating: 2

By FITCamaro on 5/4/2007 1:07:01 PM , Rating: 5
Honestly. I'm far more afraid of Google than I ever will be of Microsoft. Google is the one collecting any and all data it "legally" can about us and is free to do with it as it pleases. And the worst part is, everyone views them as this incorruptible company that can do no wrong.

By SailorRipley on 5/4/2007 3:26:01 PM , Rating: 3
apart from the fact that the creed "Better the devil you know..." only holds true to a certain point (as in statistically it's not likely the devil we don't will be worse than the one we do know)

personally, I view Google as potentially corruptible and/but so far has done way less wrong than Microsoft...

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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