As we noted yesterday, Google and Yahoo have indeed gone ahead with a trial of Google ads on Yahoo’s search results pages — and as expected this drew a testy response from Microsoft, which is courting Yahoo with a big acquisition offer.
However, really sending things over the edge for Microsoft was word that Yahoo was flirting with yet another suitor, AOL. Those two were reportedly closing in on a deal (which they had previously discussed).
Shortly thereafter came word that Microsoft was working on a counter-attack to this Yahoo/Google/AOL alliance — and who was Microsoft recruiting on its side? None other than former potential Yahoo suitor, News Corp. These alliances sound like the balance of power tactics of the European theater in early 1900s, with Yahoo being France. TechCrunch has already compared News Corp. to the Italians in this World War II scenario.
So this is shaping up to be an epic battle to liberate or takeover Yahoo.
If these alignments hold we might see a small lull in action for the next couple days while the two sides work out their respective battle plans. Then expect a PR blitz as both sides try to sway the public, the Yahoo shareholders and potentially the U.S. government as to why each arrangement is the better one.