Yesterday came word that Microsoft was talking to Time Warner and News Corp. about potential deals to help it acquire Yahoo. So naturally today comes word that Yahoo is talking to those very same companies about doing similar deals — just without Microsoft, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The whole thing is just ridiculous. We’re back to where we were in February — everyone is talking merger with everyone else.
Time Warner is talking with Yahoo about combining its AOL property with the Internet company. This is the scenario most often brought up and makes at least some semblance of sense. The problem is that Time Warner may now be concerned about Yahoo’s value, which has diminished since the two last talked about this scenario.
Meanwhile, News Corp. is said to be trying to get some sense of what is going on in the Yahoo camp as it mulls over an idea by Microsoft that it join in any takeover and merge MySpace with Yahoo. Microsoft would then take Yahoo’s search business. Tax hits that Yahoo would face over selling off its search business may halt that one.
Microsoft also may just take AOL off of Time Warner’s hands itself.
I wonder if and when any of these deals actually take place, if any of the companies involved are actually going to remember who is getting what.
The Yahoo annual shareholder meeting is set for August 1st. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn will launch his hostile takeover bid at that time. That should at least be good theater.
Already, Yahoo’s leadership is said to be willing to hand over two seats on its board to Icahn — but he wants four, according to BoomTown’s Kara Swisher. If that isn’t emblematic of this whole situation, I’m not sure what is.