It is likely that Microsoft will want to maintain elements of the Yahoo! brand post the intended acqisition. Clearly adding the exclamation point to the Microsoft name would be both simple and symbolic.
In the US most will welcome the deal, certainly in the media and advertising community.Our business needs a combination of reach, competition and innovation to succeed and this arrangement is a credible counterpoint to the issues presented by the Google Doubleclick combination although the new entity will be wise to remember the innovation imperative.Outside the US (in Europe and parts of Asia) a new threat of dominance emerges and it is likely that regulators from the EU to Japn will take a long hard look and may insist on some complex local corrections.Elsewhere the reverberations will also be felt and it’s fair to assume some more shifting in the tectonic plates. Does E Bay + AOL make sense, or AOL + AT&T. Maybe not, AOL’s Platform A proposition looks promising for advertisers but needs real inventory volume to become the third big player at the table and therefore needs to acquire or be acquired.
Other than AT&T (or Google?) the potential suitors might be GE or Fox but both represent a major ceding of position by Time Warner unless this transaction puts the whole of TW in play which would make an elegant final exclamation point on the original AOL / TW transaction. Such a possibility has one massive benefit for advertisers. Unlike Google, Microsoft and Yahoo these companies built their businesses through the creation of content loved by consumers and brands. They don’t see marketing as little more than a math problem and recognize, like brand owners, that the long term effect of marketing is an essential precursor to the decisive moment at the point of sale.