MICROSOFT, YAHOO! AND TAKEOVER TALK
On, then off again. Reports on Friday that Microsoft was seriously thinking about buying Yahoo! lasted a single day before being fully and authoritatively denied. However, that day was enough to see Yahoo! shares soar by 15 per cent or so, with billions of dollars changing hands. The New York Post claimed the 'credit' for the 'scoop'.
Now this could simply be a case of a journalist taking a flyer on a rumour but it has at least the smell of someone, somewhere pumping the Yahoo! share price in order to make a fast killing. There should be some sort of investigation here to see if the market was indeed rigged and if any journalists or PRs (the source of many business stories) were complicit.
As it happens, there are some grounds for believing that a Yahoo!-Microsoft merger of some sort could happen. They are treading on each others' toes in many areas, which is allowing Google to steal a march on both. On the other hand, giant mergers of this sort often fail to deliver the value that seems to be there on paper and there are egos in both businesses that might not want to be subsumed into a greater whole.