If you’re getting tired of the relentless back and forth about whether Yahoo has any more options to avoid a Microsoft takeover, so are we. And I would imagine so are Yahoo and Microsoft employees. With News Corp. publicly saying it won’t bid against Microsoft and AOL seemingly fading as a merger/partner prospect for Yahoo, acquisition by Microsoft appears to be inevitable. Or is it?
Kara Swisher at AllThingsD argues that Microsoft and Yahoo’s bankers have been having talks all along about the deal even as the companies remain largely at arm’s length from one another. She also raises an interesting potential analog — the failed Microsoft takeover of Intuit:
After a lot of behind-the-scenes pressure from Microsoft, Intuit Founder and CEO Scott Cook struck at deal with Microsoft’s Bill Gates in which the company got 40 percent premium, or $1.5 billion in Microsoft stock.
That deal was only scuttled, when the Justice Department stepped in and threatened to file suit to stop the union.
It’s 50/50 whether the US Justice Department or the FTC would aggressively question Microsoft’s takeover of Yahoo, given the power and footprint of Google. By contrast, the EU would be more inclined to block the deal given its antipathy toward Microsoft. However, no regulatory outcome is certain.
But could this sort of government intervention be the secret hope of Yahoo management?