Yahoosoft or Microhoo?


Yahoo stock is up more than 15 percent today after a New York Post report that Microsoft has formally renewed its effort to take over the Sunnyvale Internet giant at a price tag of $50 billion or more.

Many see the proposed takeover as a reaction by the Redmond, Wash. software sovereign to ever-increasing concerns about keeping up with the Googles, particularly after losing a recent bidding battle for online advertising specialist DoubleClick. With Google developing Internet-based software squarely challenging the dominance of Microsoft’s Office Suite, some think Microsoft has little choice but to move quickly and authoritatively.

Responding to such speculation last May, Yahoo CEO Terry Semel told the Mercury News: “My impartial advice to Microsoft is that you have no chance,” adding that it would not be smart to sell “your right arm while keeping your left.” Yahoo is thus far keeping quiet about today’s report.

Assuming some kind of agreement is reached, it’s all but certain to face heavy antitrust scrutiny. As blogger Vindu Goel points out, the critical question for regulators will be whether the government should allow a company with a monopoly in one field of technology to boost its position to fight another company with a growing monopoly in another field.

Thanks to Rex Hughes for the link to the original NY Post scoop.