Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Microsoft reconsiders Yahoo! partnership

Not surprisingly, the Microsoft - Yahoo! story is unlikely to go away for some time and there are still possible discussions and initiatives to be developed by either party to get to their ultimate objective. As widely reported, including by The Sydney Morning Herald, Microsoft are apparently talking to Yahoo! again about some form of joint partnership, partly to keep the door open to an eventual takeover but also to block any moves that Google may be trying to fill the space of the abandoned acquisition attempt.

Yahoo! is also having to keep an eye on a potential proxy fight from shareholders, led my billionaire investor Carl Icahn who has criticised the Yahoo! board for their handling of the Microsoft offer. The rumours are that Microsoft are discussion some form of joint advertising arrangement with Yahoo!, based on search advertising or targeted display advertising, to try to ward off a stronger partnership being formed between Yahoo! and Google.

There's almost an inevitability that the 3 main players within the search market will merge in some format eventually -and most likely a Microsoft-Yahoo! deal - which will not be good news for the overall market and advertisers, but probably a natural progression for the runners-up to try to tackle Google's strengthening monopoly.

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