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. 


Filed under The world we work in

3 responses to “Microsoft!

  1. As President of the IAB, I cannot comment on the substance of Rob’s commentary. However, I CAN point out to his many readers that all the principals in the latest controversial activity in the interactive advertising arena will be featured at IAB’s annual meeting, “Ecosystem 2.0,” Feb. 24-26 in Phoenix, AZ. Keynote speakers include Jerry Yang of Yahoo, Brian McAndrews of Microsoft, Randy Falco of AOL — and Rob Norman of Group M! The setting will be intimate (we expect only about 250-300 people, most of them senior execs at publishers, platforms, agencies, and marketers), and ripe for dialogue. For more info, check out the IAB Web site at

  2. Yahoo! is a brand a lot of people love.

    Yahoo! has been (like Google) a success story started from scratch by students bringing something really new, innovative & fun.

    Micro$oft is only “copy/pasting others” companies’ Great ideas.
    Money can’t buy everything (in this case Love & Admiration of Internet users).

    IMO M$ won’t be able to integrate Y! & also that most Y! users will leave as soon as Y! is another M$ product.

    During that time google will keep growing…

  3. So long as we’re making conjecture on other possible acquirers… Don’t overlook Nokia as a fantastic fit.

    They have both the cash and the eyeballs to make a real go of it.

    Through their 40+% marketshare of the handset market, and the ability to influence the content / interface of those handsets, Nokia is uniquely positioned to take an application like Yahoo’s “Go” and pre-load it onto every handset they sell globally.

    This would assure Yahoo a guaranteed seat at the table in the next generation of consumer interactions (the third screen) – and it gets Nokia the source of ongoing revenue from their installed base, which they have so badly been craving for years.

    It’s not obvious, but a great fit IMHO.

    Of course, they may be some Helsinki / Sunnyvale cultural issues to work out!


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