The battle for Yahoo stands at advantage Google. The juxtaposition of what seems like a pivotal moment in the web advertising space and the the semi-retirement of the greatest businessman of the second half of the 20th century begs the obvious question of what’s next.
Remarkably a number of commentators have drafted early versions of Microsoft’s obituary in the online world but as Lord Shaftesbury said many years ago ‘reports of my death are somewhat exaggerated.’
If the search battle is lost in the short term and with it a significant piece of the online ad market the next line of enquiry in the consumer world might be transaction marketplaces.
Just imagine if Microsoft could wrap up Expedia, IAC (including Ask) E Bay and WebMD! At a total market cap of $50bn or around 20% of the current Microsoft valuation the company would acquire an immense base of traffic, transactions, searches and it’s very own set of social actions as well as the PayPal payment platform.
It’s clearly a crazy notion and a complex longshot but strategically it might make more sense and growth prospects that a deal like Yahoo might lack.