My first impression of Microsoft’s $44 billion offer for Yahoo is that this is one of those big mergers that’s doomed to tedium, if not failure. It sort of reminds me of HP buying out Compaq. What was the end result other than some people getting a lot richer and a bunch of other people getting laid off? Was the merger a failure or success? Does anybody even care?
Something tells me that Yahoo is a bad cultural fit for Microsoft. This is a company that built its infrastructure on FreeBSD — not only did they go with an open source operating system, they went with a non-obvious open source operating system.
Yahoo hasn’t even been able to figure out the right way to integrate companies they’ve acquired — note the different ways that Flickr, del.icio.us, Launch, and others have been treated. The problem is determining the degree to which they need to be subsumed into the Yahoo brand. How can merging Yahoo’s disparate online properties with MSN be handled in a sensible way?
I’m very curious to know what other people think, so please comment, especially to reactions to the deal elsewhere (including your own).
Scott Rosenberg on the deal:
These big takeovers — AOL/Time Warner was the biggest — are always about failure in the present and fear of the future.
Here’s one way of looking at the merger, courtesy of Tim Bray:
I have a Yahoo userid. I bet you do too. I wonder how many of those there are, in total? I wonder what that number divided by $44,600,000,000 is?