It’s Monday morning and there are no official statements from either Microsoft or Yahoo on the passage of the Microsoft-imposed three week deadline to respond to its takeover offer. (The deadline passed on Saturday.) The Wall Street Journal has a quick assessment of where things stand. Silicon Alley Insider also posts (picking up on an item from AllThingsD) the argument that senior execs within Yahoo want the sale to happen and fear the stock crashing otherwise.
But most interesting this morning is Marc Andreessen’s post about hypothetical hostile takeover scenarios. It’s quite detailed and based on interviews with attorneys familiar with how these situations play out.
Basically it addresses the possibility that Microsoft might seek to buy a controlling share of Yahoo directly from shareholders (a tender offer) vs. seeking to control the board through a proxy fight (the most discussed hostile takeover scenario).
What we’re feeling is a very pregnant pause in the MicroHoo action today. I would expect it to end later today or tomorrow. We’ll see.
Andreessen also makes the interesting prediction that more hostile takeovers will happen in the tech/Internet sector, which are familiar in mainstream corporate America but have not happened previously in technology unless you count Oracle-PeopleSoft.
Meanwhile Google has expressed confidence that its potential paid search deal with Yahoo won’t run afoul of anti-trust regulations. A Reuters article says that Google will argue this deal is no different from existing paid search deals that it has with IAC/Ask and AOL:
Google believes such a partnership would not be anti-competitive because it would be an arrangement in which Yahoo would use Google’s more profitable search advertising platform to make more money for itself, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A deal would be no different from partnerships Google has with other Web companies including Time Warner Inc’s AOL and IAC/InterActiveCorp, the source said.
Because Google doesn’t and wouldn’t own any of Yahoo, the argument goes, it’s not likely to be prevented from doing the outsourcing deal. We could debate the merits of that argument, but it is relatively persuasive. However, it may all be moot if Microsoft proceeds with the acquisition.
Tune in tomorrow.