Still in Love: Microsoft Courting Yahoo Again?
Richard Burton, referring to his fiery relationship with Elizabeth Taylor, famously said, “You can’t keep clapping a couple of sticks [of dynamite] together without expecting them to blow up.” This quote popped to mind when I read that Microsoft has signed a nondisclosure agreement with Yahoo, as a potential bidder for the struggling Internet company. You may recall Microsoft’s $44.6 billion offer was rebuffed by Jerry Yang and the Yahoo board which may go down as the second worst board decision (second only to Apple’s firing of Steve Jobs). I was never a fan of the marriage of the two tech companies at the $31 per share price but there may be a price that I would champion the union. My great fear is Microsoft will lose focus on its future trying to integrate Yahoo into its empire (while at the same time, completing the integration of Skype into Microsoft). With so many possibilities available with young (smallish) companies, established players like Skype and Yahoo will take time and energy and perhaps, to the detriment of new opportunities for Microsoft. We will see.