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AOL & Yahoo Plan Merger? Building an “Exclusive” on…Well, Nothing Actually




Sometimes, merger and acquisition rumors are juicy, thrilling, with a sense of mystery.

Other times, they’re a lame duck and you wonder why anyone–let alone Reuters–would waste the time writing the story.

Exhibit A:

Exclusive: AOL mulls breakup, then merger with Yahoo

Ooh, that’s a BIG story, right? AOL, trying to reinvent itself and Yahoo, looking at a boatload of options to survive.

This is a huge story for a Monday in December. Let’s examine the “smoke” to this “fire” shall we?

…The plans are still in the exploratory stage…

Oh, OK. But I am sure the two sides are deep in talks, right?

…and Yahoo has not been contacted, the sources said…

Oh well, I’m sure Reuters has someone reliable that can be quoted here.

…The sources declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media…

OK, well perhaps AOL offered some kind of confirmation that it’s considering buying Yahoo.

…AOL declined to comment…

What about Yahoo?

…A spokesperson for Yahoo also declined to comment…

Yeah, but surely Yahoo would love to be acquired by AOL–if this were all true, right?

…a source close to the company reiterated that it is not seeking proposals or in any buy-out discussions with AOL…

You can’t make this stuff up! Oh, wait! Apparently you can! :-P

There’s actually a page “2” to this article, but really, why would you bother to read it? C’mon Reuters, we know it’s a slow news season, but if I wanted speculation, tenuous connections, and lack of citation, I’d write it myself! ;-)