Posted June 26, 2006 9:53 am by with 0 comments

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Full-time friend, part-time competitor, Scot Wingo, knows eBay better than most, and, having been acquired at one time by Overture/Yahoo, knows the search engine space too.

He combines his experience and comes up with an interesting theory that eBay is about to repeat the bad mistake made by Overture some years ago when negotiating with Yahoo.

Y! basically said – we’re interested, but you need us more than we need you and we’re not paying a premium. We’ll buy you for more in the mid $20’s (1.2b) as thats what makes sense to us. If you’re not interested, let’s keep/sweeten our commercial deal. Behind the scenes, i’m sure the Y! guys realized that OVER really didn’t have any options and Google was going to pound the heck out of them.

Fast forward to present day, and eBay finds itself in a similar situation. It’s stock is at $40 but Yahoo doesn’t want to pay the premium.

Y! said: We’re interested, but at $22. If that’s not interesting, let’s do a commercial deal…Then Y! sits back and patiently waits as [eBay goes] from $44 to $30. then $22 isn’t great, but it’s getting painfully close. Finally, you head into the seasonally weak Q2, and the buzz is there are some big things coming out that could get that $30 heading south. Now $22 doesn’t seem to far away…

A very compelling theory. It will be interesting to see if eBay has missed the boat.