Troogle

Yahoo CEO Keeps Microsoft Deal Door Open, Shuts Out AOL

Posted in News, Secret, Web by henrydewaag on June 8, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones)–Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) Chief Executive Carol Bartz said Monday the struggling Internet giant can “take on” rivals Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Google Inc. (GOOG), and she dismissed the idea of striking a partnership with Time Warner Inc.’s (TWX) AOL unit.

Bartz, however, declined to rule out a search partnership with Microsoft, which tried to buy Yahoo last year and remains open to some sort of deal that could bolster its search capabilities to compete with market leader Google.

“If you talk about search in general, you could partner with somebody,” she said in an interview with Fox Business News’ Liz Claman.

Bartz’s statement appeared to be her latest attempt to calibrate her position on Microsoft. She told an investor conference last week that Yahoo’s future would be “cleaner” if it didn’t strike any sort of deal with Microsoft, a comment that sent Yahoo shares tumbling 5%.

Bartz and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer have talked about forming a partnership on search but the exact nature of those discussions has not been clear.

Bartz also appeared to rule out any sort of partnership with AOL, which Time Warner recently decided to spin off.

“Yahoo-AOL would not happen anytime in the forever future,” she said. “Yahoo is a much stronger property in a different direction and there’s no sense confusing all of that.”

Bartz once again downplayed Microsoft’s newly revamped search engine, dubbed Bing, which for a day surpassed Yahoo in market share.

Yahoo is the No. 2 U.S. search engine, with 20.4% market share in April, according to market research group comScore. Microsoft continued to lag far behind with about 8% of the market, while rival Google Inc. (GOOG) increased its share by half a percentage point in April to 64.2% of the U.S. market, its highest level ever.
Shares in Yahoo closed down 2.7% at $16.19, while Microsoft fell 0.4% to $22.05. Google shares fell 1.3% to $438.77 and Time Warner was up 2.4% at $25.91.

By Scott Morrison, Dow Jones Newswires; 415-765-6118; scott.morrison@dowjones.com

Tagged with: , , ,

Everyone Wants to Buy Yahoo, Nobody Wants to Buy AOL

Posted in Publications, Secret, Web by henrydewaag on February 12, 2009

And is there any wonder? Time Warner has been in talks with both Microsoft and Yahoo about selling off its AOL unit through out this year, but both companies have been much more interested in each other than the crumbled remains of AOL. Time Warner has showed a renewed interest in a deal and Microsoft and Yahoo continue to listen, but neither company appeared to be especially interested.

The NYTimes.com quotes Richard Greenfield, an analyst who covers Time Warner for Pali Capital, “I don’t see why anyone would make a move now with all the pieces on the chess board where they are,” he said. He adds that Time Warner was in a bad spot because the value of AOL was declining. (Doesn’t everyone want dialup?) Its main business is now selling graphical display ads and that is under pricing pressure. Greenfield also says its brand has a “toxic” connotation with consumers. The company does not even use the AOL name when it starts new web sites.

From its days as the evil empire of dialup companies, they earned the nickname ‘AOHell’. The company seemed to lack firm direction, buying various companies with no obvious connection to their business and often ruining them in the process. Perhaps the most famous of these is ICQ. The most popular IM program of the time was turned into bloatware, which quickly sank out of sight. Don’t even get me started on Netscape. AOL entered the portal ring way late and had already bled dialup users seeking the freedom of the internet compared to AOL’s own internal version of it. The company has been aimless and with its almost necrotic touch, is it any wonder consumers find the brand toxic?

Tagged with: , , ,