Rumor Mill: Yahoo/Ebay Merger?

This morning I read an interesting theory by Tim Poulus at Seeking Alpha: Yahoo/eBay Merger Case Strengthened By Semel Departure. Hmm… very interesting. How would merging help both Yahoo and Ebay?

I think one of the most obvious benefits to Yahoo would be an immediate acquisition of an online payment tool — PayPal. Just this week, Ryan Douglas pointed out on a Marketing Pilgrim post that Internet Retailer is reporting that adoption rates of Google Checkout amongst the top 500 retailers than PayPal. But Yahoo doesn’t even have a proverbial dog in the online payment fight yet. Could a merger between Yahoo and Ebay further empower the PayPal tool — linking it up with Yahoo Search Marketing ads similar to how Google Checkout is linked to Google AdWords?

Rumor Mill – Yahoo Acquiring MySpace for 25% of Stock?

Rumors have a habit of never transpiring, but when the NYT, The Times and TechCrunch all suggest that Yahoo may give up 25% of their stock, in exchange for full ownership of MySpace, we should probably sit up and take notice.

It’s somewhat hard to comprehend why Yahoo would give MySpace a value of around $12 billion, yet won’t cough-up a couple billion for the fast growing Facebook – perhaps MySpace’s broader appeal is the key to its valuation. Certainly, Fox Interactive would see a very nice return on investment for the $580 million they paid for MySpace, but why would they be so interested in an all stock deal with a company that only recently fired their CEO? Perhaps CEO Mr. Murdoch can shed some light on why he’d sell MySpace…

Apple to Announce Google Partnership?

It must be at least a week since we last had a Google rumor, so Wired comes to our rescue with this juicy piece of gossip that involves Apple. They’re suggesting that Steve Jobs will likely, use Monday’s conference to tell the world about a partnership with Google.

One announcement I’m almost sure of, however : A far reaching, cloud computing partnership with Google. Both companies have been hinting about it for months, and it makes perfect sense…Google runs cloud based hardware and software better and cheaper than anyone in the world right now. How does it make money? By getting as many people as possible looking at advertising alongside search and other various software offerings. Imagine all the traffic from the following: You buy a Mac and you automatically get a free Google account. 

Baidu coming to Britain?

It seems everyday a search engine is launched or relaunched and today it seems we’ve got one expanding. Baidu the hugely popular Chinese Engine is attempting to make the move into the European search arena.

e-consultancy thinks the move is bold and pretty naive, given their search technology is built around the Chinese languages. Similarly their somewhat vague distinction between natural and paid search might prove unpopular in certain quarters.

However they have set up an office in continental Europe and following their expansion into Japan, are hoping they can make a dent in Google’s strangle-hold on the European searchers.

FeedBurner Acquired by Google?

TechCrunch reports that rumors of Google acquiring FeedBurner have been confirmed. TechCrunch reports that Google paid $100 million—all cash—for the RSS management company, and the deal should close in 2-3 weeks.

No word on the offical Google or FeedBurner blogs yet. However, last month on the FeedBurner blog, they did note why their company would be so attractive:

We have resellers in Japan, Spain and Russia, our customer base includes thousands upon thousands of feeds from publishers all over the world and our flame-o-con burns brightly for millions of subscribers in 190 different countries.

TechCrunch reports that FeedBurner founders including Sam Sethi will be locked in for “a couple of years.”

Along with everyone else, we must speculate whether feedvertising will now simply feature AdSense ads.

Rumor Mill – Yahoo in $1b Talks with Reluctant Bebo?

Yahoo has a billion dollars and its burning a hole in the corporate pocket. After failing to convince Facebook to sell for a $1 billion, Yahoo has turned its affections to another popular social network, Bebo.

Bebo is very popular in the UK, so you can see why the press over there is jumping on the rumors.

Yahoo! is rumoured to be weighing a $1 billion (£500m) bid for Bebo, the privately owned social networking site, after shuffling its management team to better place itself for acquisitions….Given Bebo’s strength in Britain, an approach by Yahoo! would be likely to involve Toby Coppel, the Yahoo! executive who previously led the company’s global mergers and acquisitions team and was recently appointed managing director of the group’s operations in Europe.

Rumor Mill – Google to Launch UK Mobile Network?

How can you not trust any rumor that starts with: “We’ve heard from a good source…”?

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington is “Mr. Reputation”, when it comes to technology, so you know he’s confident about rumors that Google will enter the UK wireless industry, if he puts them on his blog.

…Google may be preparing to launch its own branded mobile network in the UK in the next few weeks. If our source is accurate, Google will become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) via a deal with UK mobile phone company O2.

We’re hearing that there will be no physical stores for the service, and that signups and customer service will be provided exclusively via a website. A number of Nokia handsets will be offered, all pre-loaded with Google mobile software.