Everybody is talking about it: Microsoft today made an offer to buy Yahoo for 44.6 Billion. Just last week we discussed buying some options for Yahoo because its stock was trading around 20 dollars. Now the web is buzzing with the news.
We heard the news while attending a Lunch2.0 at eBuddy. Several phones suddenly started beeping buzzing and ringing and suddenly eBuddy CEO Onno Bakker brought up Yahoo Finance on the big monitor where seconds ago we were still looking at a presentation. Its main headline was “Microsoft Offers $44.6B for Yahoo“. Within seconds everybody was talking about it. One entrepreneur told me “Just imagining Microsoft owning Yahoo gives me goosebumps. I don’t like it at all”. Others were less negative and pointed out the benefits of strong competition for Google.
Patrick pointed out that we heard similar (but wrong) rumors while we visited Yahoo Brickhouse in San Francisco last year where they told us to just ignore it. Inside Yahoo they called it ‘the dance’. They explained that every year Yahoo and Microsoft people get together to talk about working together which always lead to rumors but never turned out to be anything.
Based on that story I’m assuming this public offer by Microsoft is actually the result of extensive talks between Microsoft and Yahoo. The Yahoo Finance story speaks of a ‘surprise offer’ but since we know Microsoft and Yahoo have been getting together regularly in the past few years this probably isn’t really that much of a surprise to Yahoo. It also is hard to imagine that Microsoft would make such a bold public offer if it didn’t already know the answer.
My prediction: Yahoo will resist a little, put up a little fight and then give in and accept the offer.