Yahoo spurned one offer in the last week—but are they already courting another? It’s Valentine’s Day, and the timing is perfect for a love triangle. Although Rupert Murdoch states last week that News Corp was not interested in Yahoo, we all know that was junior high code and secretly Murdoch was doodling NWS + YHOO all over his algebra notebook.
I mean, that could be the only conceivable reason why rumors abound this week that the two are in acquisition talks, right? As Reuters reports, speculation is flying thick and fast about a potential deal.
But Reuters’ analyst friends contend that this isn’t really very likely, even if talks are ongoing. Microsoft reserved the right to continue to take further steps toward a merger, though it hasn’t yet said what its next step will be. The consensus among the analysts seems to be that Yahoo’s not going to get a better offer from anyone else:
“Any options other than Microsoft are all … fraught with serious consequences,” said Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay. “The management has left it to so late in the day to really find any alternative. They have basically backed themselves in the corner.” . . .
“It is hard to imagine that Rupert would be willing to put enough cash in the deal to make it interesting to Yahoo shareholders,” RBC Capital Jordan Rohan said.
On the other hand, no one mentions that a Microsoft/Yahoo deal might have just the slightest bit of trouble with the FTC and EU, and that even if Yahoo accepted the offer today it could be months or years before any changes are made.
Personally, I’m going to say that the rumors are just rumors. But by letting these rumors fly, I don’t think Yahoo is making themselves look more attractive to Microsoft. “See? See, Microsoft?” they seem to be saying. “Other people love me, too. You might just have to pay a little more for this cow.”
But what I’m hearing is, “Help! Help! Anyone! Don’t let us be sucked in! Can’t anyone help us?” Either way, it seems that despite Yahoo’s rejection, a Microsoft deal may be inevitable.