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Marketing News Roundup, December 2

Today is practically a national holiday: Britney Spears’s birthday. Celebrate.

  • Something’s going on ’round here: Carl Icahn has bought up more Yahoo, increasing his stake to 5.5% of the company. Ten guesses what he wants to do with it—oh, wait, Jerry Yang is already out…
  • How was Black Friday online? comScore reports that eCommerce spending was up 1 percent YOY. Time to celebrate?
  • Did you know that Alexa was also a search engine? Yeah, well, not anymore. The Alexa service we all know and love to hate, website traffic rankings, will not be affected (and, as TechCrunch puts it, neither will anyone else).

Microsoft Planning Another Yahoo Run

Sometimes we just can’t let dead horses lie. That’s okay, neither can Microsoft. After months of more drama than a daytime soap (ahem) with the attempted merger/acquisition of Yahoo, Microsoft pulled their offer back in May.

And now they’re saying, “Whoopsiedoodle. On second thought . . . we will be coming back fighting.” The Wall Street Journal reports today that Microsoft is planning another run at Yahoo—and this time they won’t be going it alone. They’re actively looking for partners to dismantle Yahoo. Current candidates include News Corp. (aka Nick on Y&P) and Time Warner (we may call him . . . Tim. He’s Alan (AOL)’s dad).

This isn’t exactly good news for already-beleaguered Yahoo chief, Jerry Yang. But the WSJ article presents a very different image of Yang than the one portrayed in recent lawsuits and power plays at the company.

Microsoft to Yahoo: Ignore Ballmer, He’s Just a Flirt

From proposal to almost-marriage to messy breakup, their love affair dominated tech news for the first half of the year. Now that the Yahoo/Google deal has supplanted the proposed Yahoo/Microsoft merger in the public attention, it looks like Steve Ballmer’s getting a little lonely again. In a keynote earlier this week, the Microsoft CEO said:

We offered $33 bucks (for Yahoo) and it’s $11 today. It’s clear Yahoo didn’t want to sell. They probably still think it’s worth more than $33 a share.

I still think it makes sense for their shareholders and ours.

That evening, Carl Icahn, who long pushed for the deal, agreed with Ballmer:

I will say and I continue to say that sooner or later there’s got to be a deal with Microsoft and Yahoo of some type. I really believe that very strongly.

Yahoo Announces Reorganization

We were pretty sure about this last week, but today Yahoo has formally announced their reorganization. Excuse me, their “Realignment to Support Core Strategies.” Of course. (via)

According to Kara Swisher, SVP Brad Garlinghouse will be replaced by Scott Dietzen, former CTO of Zimbra, which was acquired by Yahoo in September.

Just a year ago, Yahoo had a major management shakeup as Terry Semel stepped down and Jerry Yang and Susan Decker stepped in. Now, June rolls round again and it’s time for more changes. Among the changes announced:

Three new “teams” reporting to Sue Decker (President of Yahoo):

  • Audience Products Division, led by Ash Patel of Platforms & Infrastructure—companywide product strategy and product management.

Pilgrim’s Picks for June 16

Nothing like a lunchtime flight to LAX to ensue you make the most of your morning. While I rush around like a headless chicken, you can enjoy the soothing words of today’s Picks.

  • Carl Icahn believes the Yahoo/Google deal “might have some merit.” Let’s hope so, because if he pushes forward with his proxy battle, it might trip a “change of control provision” allowing Google to walk away from the deal.
  • It seems Google is developing tools that will allow you to monitor your broadband speed–so you’ll know if your ISP is throttling your connection.
  • You can now upload, view, print and share your PDF documents on Google Docs. No editing or creation tools at this time.
  • Russia’s largest search engine Yandex is acquiring SMIlink, a Russian data collection company.

Pilgrim’s Picks for June 20

Congratulations! You made it through another week!

As your reward, you get to enjoy these great Picks: