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Microsoft/Yahoo! Merger a Good Idea? 186

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the the-big-get-bigger dept.
NorbMan writes "Last month there was speculation about Microsoft's interest in joining forces with Yahoo! to battle Google. Today, a Merrill Lynch analyst recommended a Yahoo! takeover by Microsoft. From the article: "A Yahoo/MSN-Microsoft combination would have garnered approximately 41% share in the US of search queries [in April] versus Google with 44%.""
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Microsoft/Yahoo! Merger a Good Idea?

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  • by MarkByers (770551) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @07:32AM (#15595607) Homepage Journal
    Very bad idea. No one will trust their business to a company called 'Microhoo!'.
    • Re:Very bad idea (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LLuthor (909583) <lexington.luthor@gmail.com> on Saturday June 24, 2006 @07:49AM (#15595636)
      I don't think that a merger like that would result in a name change.

      Microsoft merging with Yahoo! is like me merging with pizza. It ends up with a slightly larger me.
      • by jkrise (535370) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @07:53AM (#15595641) Journal
        Microsoft merging with Yahoo! is like me merging with pizza. It ends up with a slightly larger me.

        While you may feel larger and bigger temporarily, after merging with pizza... after a few hours, the pizza exits with a foul smell, and you're left longing for another merger. True growth can NEVER be achieved by mergers. You need to Grow Up to understand that.
        • Re:Very bad idea (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TopShelf (92521)
          True growth can NEVER be achieved by mergers.

          Tell that to GE. Admittedly, they seem to do the merger thing better than almost anyone, but mergers, when done correctly, can indeed lead to organic growth. Big company acquires smaller one in a niche industry. Big company then pours its resources and expertise into this promising new area and grows that business in a way it never could have otherwise.

          Certainly, Microsoft/Yahoo wouldn't be such a case. And frankly, having one player with 44% of the search ma
          • Re:Very bad idea (Score:5, Interesting)

            by MarkByers (770551) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @08:35AM (#15595737) Homepage Journal
            A Duopoly, after all, isn't very much better than a Monopoly.

            Huh? Duoploy? I assume you mean Microsoft and Google? Are you suggesting that having just two companies competing against each other for market share has no advantages compared to a monopoly? And they will be competing, chairs and all. Even just two companies competing against each other to produce the best product is infinitely better than one that has full power and no desire to innovate. Look at Intel/AMD.

            The only problem is if they work together to control the market and then share each others profits, but I cannot see that happening.
            • Re:Very bad idea (Score:2, Informative)

              by SavvyPlayer (774432)

              Huh? Duoploy? I assume you mean Microsoft and Google?

              Yes, that's what TS said.

              Are you suggesting that having just two companies competing against each other for market share has no advantages compared to a monopoly?

              No, the point TS was making is simply that for any given market, more competitors > fewer competitors. Therefore any way you slice it, this proposed merger would be better for Microsoft/Google than the search market in which they compete.

              Look at Intel/AMD.

              Intel and AMD have not unt

              • Even a monopoly would not be a big deal in the search domain. There are almost no entry barreers to the market. A monopoly would be forced to behave as if there were competition to remain a monopoly.
            • Re:Very bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Murphy Murph (833008) <sealab.murphy@gmail.com> on Saturday June 24, 2006 @10:02AM (#15596055) Journal
              The only problem is if they work together to control the market and then share each others profits, but I cannot see that happening.


              See the stagnation of Home Depot / Lowes for an example of what else can go wrong. Two entrenched players does not make a competitive market.
          • Consider how the Microsoft takeover of hotmail went, and then think, could microsoft really handle acquiring yahoo? Microsoft has attempted time and time again to aquire big web portals but i don't remember it ever working out in the long run. maybe i just don't read enough up on it but i don't know that there would be enough profitability in a merger.

      • Microsoft merging with Yahoo! is like me merging with pizza. It ends up with a slightly larger me.

        I'm not quite sure about that... remember Pizza the Hutt [wikipedia.org]?
    • by Dannon (142147) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @09:39AM (#15595948) Journal
      "Where do <yodel>yoooooooooooooooooooooou</yodel> want to go today?"
    • What about "Ya Soft!"

      But seriously do ML ever look at the implications outside of the USA? It might bring them closer in the USA, but for the rest of the world it's one fly for google to swat instead of two.

    • or perhaps Micyahoo!

      anyway, it would get a whole bunch of yahoos! in one place :-D
    • by Zemran (3101)
      or Ya Soft :p
  • by SpacetimeComputing (860691) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @07:34AM (#15595612)
    Can anyone say antitrust?

    • I agree, companies like yahoo, Microsoft, Google and IBM for that matter, should NOT be allow to buy each other. Or merge for that matter. I know that in Denmark (country in Europe) we have competition-control-authority prohibiting things like that. But US is proberly too liberal to bloack things like that, right? Bigger cooperations are NOT good for competition! It creates monopols and destroys innovation...
      • That arguement really does not work here. The whole of this (purely speculative) merger would be to allow the MS/Yahoo super company compete with Google (which already has a monopoly in the search arena). This merger would do nothing to create a monopoly (or at least a horizontal one) as MS isn't doing that well in the Internet arena (Yahoo's strength) and Yahoo doesn't much at all (as far as I know) in terms of desktop software (MS's strength).
    • Given that Google is the big dog in most of the areas Yahoo competes in, I don't see the DOJ interfering in a merger. In the past, Microsoft has been very successful at buying or bullying its way to success. I don't see that working this time. MS has never shown an ability to innovate and there is no one they can buy to match Google. MS + Yahoo is like adding crap to crap.
      • Big Dog? Doubtful at best. Google leads in search and absolutely nothing else. Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail both have much higher market share than Gmail. Google Finance is #42, Yahoo! Finance is #1. Mapquest and Yahoo! Maps both have more users than Google Maps and Google Earth combined.Bloglines still is way better than Google Reader, and has more users. Youtube has far more users than Google Video for the user content side of things, and iTunes has more for the pay content side of things. About the only thing
  • by jkrise (535370) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @07:43AM (#15595622) Journal
    Theoretically, the combined user-base would surpass Google. But many users like me, never visit MSN / Yahoo after acquiring a Google identity (gmail).

    The combined HPaq is still below Dell, although prior to the merger, the combn. was much bigger.
  • Don't think so... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kinocho (978177) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @07:43AM (#15595625)
    Somehow, I think that the moment yahoo joins (msn eats it up) with microsoft, mysteriously half the 41% will move to google or another different engine.

    Is not numbers we are talking here, is not even efficiency. IT's TRUST.
    • Re:Don't think so... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by john_chr (700513)
      But will MS shoot themselves in the foot by insisting that all that nasty Yahoo BSD unix infrastructure is ripped out and replaced with shiny new Windows Servers?!? By the time Ms-Yahoo recovers from the ensuing fiasco Google will have eaten their breakfast, lunch and dinner. Did they learn anything from the Hotmail takeover? This would easily be an order of magnitude (or two) bigger.
    • Re:Don't think so... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sasdrtx (914842)
      Yep. I don't know if these companies are stupid enough to actually pursue this, but it would be an disaster of biblical proportion for both. Which is why I'd love to see it happen.

      I can't see the slightest of business reasons to merge. Where are you going to get any synergy or economies of scale? Microsoft is way too big already (for its own good, much less the rest of us). They should be thinking about spin-offs, not acquisitions.
    • Somehow, I think that the moment yahoo joins (msn eats it up) with microsoft, mysteriously half the 41% will move to google or another different engine.

      The Geek who thinks he represents 20% of Yahoo's core market is living in Fantasyland.

    • If you honestly think that 20% of the people using search engines in the world really care about TRUSTing their search engines, you need to take some more meds. Most people don't even know that search engines keep records of your searches, they think they're just a normal website. You'd have a few fringe users (such as yourself) "run for the hills", but the majority would just keep right on using YaMSN, as long as the service and interface of the two sites weren't drastically changed. Most of the technicall
    • Trust? Not a word I associate with Yahoo. I think the term your looking for is "brand recognition".
  • With $40b in the bank, why not just buy Google and be done with it :)

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
    • by hagbard5235 (152810) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @07:55AM (#15595646)
      First, Google's capitalization is higher than Yahoo's (they are more expensive).

      Second, remember when AOL bought Netscape? Something like 40% of their workforce quit the next day. If MS buys Google, the google brain trust (which is were all the value is) hits the door immediately.
    • Re:Why Yahoo (Score:3, Interesting)

      Probably because of two reasons - Google is a a company that afaik writes everything in python, on linux boxes. Their search runs on a linux cluster - something microsoft wont beable to compete with any time soon. Also, it probably wont be allowed by the american equiv of the monopolies and mergers commission
      • Re:Why Yahoo (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MarkByers (770551) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @08:18AM (#15595689) Homepage Journal
        Google is a a company that afaik writes everything in python, on linux boxes.

        Hardly. Remember the story just a couple of days ago about which operating system and browser different companies' employees use? Google employees mostly use Windows! [andrewhitchcock.org] (Insert huge disclaimer about the unreliability of these stats here). Most of Google's software is aimed at Windows users. Native Linux support often comes much later.

        As for writing 'everything in Python'? Python is a great language but I doubt if all that much of their code is written Python. A lot of their work is C/C++/Java/Javascript/Ajax/etc...

        I know that on the Python homepage it says:

        "Python has been an important part of Google since the beginning, and remains so as the system grows and evolves. "

        -- Peter Norvig, Google


        I would actually be interested to know what products (if any) they have that are powered mostly or entirely by Python. Does anyone know?
        • Well i remember a story on slashdot a while ago, about them hiring the lead python developer, and i remember reading something along the lines that they did that because they use python for their search code, or something. I did say IIRC.
          • Well i remember a story on slashdot a while ago, about them hiring the lead python developer

            I googled...

            I guess you mean this article [slashdot.org]?

            Thanks for the information - I wasn't aware of that until just now. I guess that there will be something in the comments on that article about what Google plans to do / have done with Python.
        • Hardly. Remember the story just a couple of days ago about which operating system and browser different companies' employees use? Google employees mostly use Windows! (Insert huge disclaimer about the unreliability of these stats here).

          To throw in some numbers from my site: Googlers coming to it with Linux: 9, with Windows: 2.

          Too small a sample size, I know. But it was the same tendency towards Linux last month: Linux: 11, Windows: 1.
        • Take a look at all the links on this page [google.com]. Notice how many have a .py extension. Why do you suppose that might be?

          A lot of Google's software, like Google Earth and Picasa, was bought from other companies, not originally developed by Google. They've ported both to Linux, and Google Earth to Mac OS X.

          Python is a great language but I doubt if all that much of their code is written Python. A lot of their work is C/C++/Java/Javascript/Ajax/etc...

          JavaScript (including AJAX, which as someone else pointed out is
    • Last time I checked $125 Billion (what Google is currently worth, their market cap) is a lot more than $40 billion. Google is worth more than half of Microsoft's Market Cap, which is a lot more than the actual cash Microsoft has on hand.
  • by scenestar (828656) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @07:45AM (#15595629) Homepage Journal
    Face it, there's really no way around google yahoo or msn.

    Have you tried finding a good alternative to any of them?
    Most smaller engines are powered by either yahoo or gooogle.
    • FWIW, this is one of the many reasons I have gone to a meta-crawler. I don't even trust the page ratings from any of the big players. I use Dogpile and find I get a slightly more effective search.
    • Ask.com is a very good search engine, and it is not powered by any of the big guys. Google does supply its ads, but Ask.com uses its own search technology, which I think is superior to Google's. Give it a try, I like it now that it isn't so childish (ie. that Jeeves is gone).
  • Microsoft has already been convicted of monopoly activity and yet somehow people keep talking merger.

    Yep that's it _, we want to allow more centralization of market power.
  • by Quiberon (633716) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @07:48AM (#15595633) Journal
    Isn't it sort-of a private matter for the shareholders of the 2 companies to figure whehter they want to do it ? And then the monopoly regulators ?

    This monopoly of commercial operating systems for personal computers, and monopoly of commercial word processors for personal computers, is proving somewhat a millstone round the neck of Microsoft. Are they about to sell off these businesses so that they can move on ? Games consoles, search services, etc.

    I expect if the price was right, IBM would take Windows and/or Word off their hands. It's only money.

  • by brentlaminack (513462) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @07:51AM (#15595639) Homepage Journal
    Ok, these 'market analysts' look at spreadsheets of market shares, etc. Look at the technology under the hood: Microsoft uses all Windows products. Yahoo uses BSD and PHP as their environment. I'm sure Gates and company would LOVE to be running such a large, critical portion of their business on OSS! Or throw all Yahoo's code away and re-write in .NET? Right!! From a platform point of view, anybody who thinks about this for more than 30 seconds will see that this is a non-starter. Nothing here. Move along.
    • by smallpaul (65919) <paul@@@prescod...net> on Saturday June 24, 2006 @08:34AM (#15595735)
      The technology under the hood is totally irrelevant from a business profitability point of view. IIRC, Hotmail did not run on Windows at first either. Over time, Microsoft ported it over. It really isn't so hard to believe that they would do that with Yahoo as well. They would start by porting the back end services (already accessed via internal web services) and then work towards the user interface. They might offshore the work because it is fairly straightforward. It might take five years, but who cares? It would be a small expense compared to the acquisition cost of Yahoo itself.
      • by twitter (104583) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @10:09AM (#15596078) Homepage Journal

        The technology under the hood is totally irrelevant from a business profitability point of view. Hotmail did not run on Windows at first either. Over time, Microsoft ported it over. ... It might take five years, but who cares?

        I can smell the money burning when I hear stupid shit like that. The arrogance is stunning. Have you seen the contradiction in your thinking from the above parsing yet?

        Who cares? The customer cares, you idiots! They are not going to hang around for five years worth of buggy service. That's Microsoft, though, their precious marketing image is always more important to them than actual service or .... the customer. Yahoo appropriately stands for "You Always Have Other Options."

  • Genius! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24, 2006 @07:54AM (#15595645)
    What's better than having the trust and reliability of Microsoft paired with the strategy and insight of Yahoo!

    Oh...
    • What's better than having the trust and reliability of Microsoft paired with the strategy and insight of Yahoo!

      I don't know, but I'm sure some marketing genius will come up with the answer and express it in a multi-line spam footer and have it appear on every other email that arrives in my inbox.

      ------------
      The all-new My! Live! Microsoft! Yahoo!
      Bringing your online world together. Personalize your homepage. One place for your
      news, search, mail, and more ...
      Register online now!

      Yeah, you Yahoo/MSN/Hotmail us
  • by Wylfing (144940) <brian AT wylfing DOT net> on Saturday June 24, 2006 @08:06AM (#15595662) Homepage Journal

    They'd have 41% for about 10 seconds until users began migrating. There's no way Yahoo could fit comfortably into the MS spectrum of products. The real stickiness for Yahoo isn't search, it's webmail and the other services that get people using it as a portal. They search at Yahoo because its already loaded up in their browser. None of those services are something that MS wants to maintain -- there's way too much friction with MS's existing products. So they either kill it all off or force users toward Live et al, which is not what those users wanted, not the least reason being MS has a negative reputation in this space.

    Poisoning all of Yahoo's services doesn't gain you any marketshare in search. Maybe a few percent as collateral damage, but nothing like what's being predicted here.

  • Only about search? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 24, 2006 @08:14AM (#15595681)
    Does anybody use Yahoo for more than just searching? What about their excellent portal, My Yahoo! [yahoo.com]? It's the one place I always start from to get my daily and intra-daily doses of news, including slashdot. It's great for tracking stocks. It's highly customizable.

    What happens when Microsoft gets its hands on Yahoo? How long before this great site stops working properly on anything but IE? Can people just switch to Google and find this kind of service? Does anybody do this anywhere near as well as Yahoo?
  • by gjuk (940514) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @08:15AM (#15595684)
    Technologies used are irrelevant, from a business point of view (don't flame that) - it's all about market share. Google are running away with the search market - and with it, the future of advertising. New entrants have no chance, so the only competition is going to come from the existing players getting their act together. Both yahoo and MS have embedded user bases which will erode unless they can get to a par with google. If this means rewriting some code base, or MS having to rely on oss for a while, so be it. If they don't rapidly tackle google, they'll lose a lot of $$ in the medium term, and lose their business in the long term. Of course - one day the US Govt could break google up (Bell style) but they've never done that with MS, so MS really do have to win the web war to survive and at the moment they're being pulped by google. Yahoo may offer a shortcut to victory (or at least a more even fight).
    • Yahoo may offer a shortcut to victory (or at least a more even fight).

      I dunno... To put an anology on this, it would be like China invading India so they could install a puppet government in India to fight against Russia when India was already at war with Russia.

      It really doesn't make much sense other than to make an even bigger over extended Indo-China nation to fight Russia especially when the Indian's aren't going to be loyal to their new Chinese rulers.

      And secondly, all the resources and effort spent on
  • Why do they assume (Score:5, Insightful)

    by briancnorton (586947) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @08:16AM (#15595686) Homepage
    Why is it assumed that all the people that currently use yahoo will instantly start using the new MSN search? You can't buy search marketshare. It don't work like that.
    • by shird (566377) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @08:26AM (#15595708) Homepage Journal
      because they will simply point search.yahoo.com/search.cgi or whatever to the MSN servers. 99% of the people that use yahoo search wouldnt know the difference. If they could tell the difference, chances are they would be using google instead. Generally the people that use yahoo use it from yahoo messenger, some bookmark thats been installed, yahoo desktop search etc.. they dont use it because they think its actually a good search engine.
    • Why is it assumed that all the people that currently use yahoo will instantly start using the new MSN search?

      why would users need to "switch"? If 41% use MSN or Yahoo search, the combined company has 41%.

  • Instead of two large companies to worry about we only have to fear one even larger company.
  • by kirun (658684) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @08:27AM (#15595715) Homepage Journal
    So, would their first task after merger be to port Yahoo's massive infrastructure over to .NET? It sure would look bad if they kept Yahoo's BSD-based services. Yahoo also has enough integration issues of its own - for example, combining Yahoo Photos with flickr, Yahoo MyWeb with del.icio.us , etc - bringing another bundle of technology into the mix would just completely bog developers down and allow Google to run further ahead. Plus, there is immense resistance to that sort of change - note the outrage a while back when Yahoo bought up various services like eGroups, and planned to merge them with the Yahoo Clubs. People didn't want their Club turning into a Group (despite the fact that the Groups was a better service). Announcing that your Yahoo Group will become a MSN Group (powered by Yahoo) isn't going to go down well.

    Also, perhaps combining the two services wouldn't result in the combined marketshare? I use the search.yahoo.com interface on occasions to get a second opinion to go with Google - surely various other people use various sites in this way. If you turn two sets of results into one, you get one slice of this pie, instead of two. And will the shiny new merged services have every single feature the two previous ones did? I think not, as the most likely course of action will be "throw the worse technology away, add a few features to the better one, and call it a merger". So, you'll lose everyone relying on features X, Y, and Z who now have no reason to use your service.
  • God Damned Suits (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lord Kano (13027)
    Being able to make a good search engine is a skill that only a select few posess. They guys at Yahoo aren't bad. If something like a hostile takeover or merger occurs, how many of them are going to resign within a matter of weeks? I'd venture to say "a lot". People don't like it when established company atmosphere is changed all of a sudden. If Microsoft were to gobble up Yahoo, of course they'd law down a bunch of changes and piss off the best techies. When that happens, Microsoft will have pretty much pai
  • by SlappyBastard (961143) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @08:50AM (#15595774) Homepage
    "41% share in the US of search"

    This assumes that the merger doesn't cause users to run away. Consider both Yahoo's and MS's recent efforts to revamp their website: both caused drops is marketshare.

    The only company gaining serious traction in search is Ask.

    Smart money says pay for a little guy with upward mobility. If MS were smart (and it isn't) they'd go after Ask. Merrill Lynch is just brainlessly applying old merger principles to new economies. It's not helpful.

    In the computer business, smart money is on growth, not marketshare.

    • They're a bad investment, they've been a horrible company (friend worked there early on) for a long time now.

      Ask may be growing their market share, but it's only by basically buying it.

      It's like Xbox. It sold because basically because MS was putting a $100 bill into every box.

      If you think Xbox is a big success, buy into Ask. If you think in old fashioned ways like profit and return on investment, you'd do well to move on.
      • Re:Ask sucks... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SlappyBastard (961143)
        1. I'm not a big fan of mixing personal sentiments with financial ones.

        2. I'm not necessarily sold on Ask. I just suspect that for return on value, you'd get more out of ask than you would Yahoo, because Yahoo appears to have extended their brand as far as possible.

        3. If anything, I'd offer the argument that MS should get out of the search business altogether. Focus on what you do well, and trim experiments that fail. I think we'll all agree that MSN/Live is never going to overtake Google, and will p

        • That'd be a great combination.

          As to mixing personal and financial, I'm not sure whether to say "I'm not" or "I'd be a fool not to". Depends on how you think of it

          The the people who took them over and took them public were the same kind of people who ran pets.com and such. They're there to try to make the company look successful, rather than actually build a strong company. They're concerned about the stock price, and less about the actual value of the company. If that appeals to market timers (such as yours
  • Creepy. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann (805235)
    Big Brother + Viruses + China = :(
    • Yeah, Google creeps me out, too.
  • Is there a search engine available at MSN or Yahoo?!?!
  • The only motive to do this for microsoft is to make its own monopoly position stronger. Mergeing with yahoo would result in a stronger position versus google, makeing the possebility for elimenating google even greater. Remember: microsoft does NOT really need yahoo (it's already got MSN). Microsoft only needs yahoo when it wants to elimenate google.

    Why would Microsoft want to elimenate google? Well, for starters: it's a big, high profile, highly visible company... which just happens to support Open Source
  • seen the tactit assumption that the markets parts add up to the new total. This assumption is made too often. However, if the parts are inherently a misfit, the total too often is much less than the sum of the parts.

    It seems this advice was given in desperation, since the goal should be to enhance the whole. That is, just becoming bigger does not assure retention of markets. Moreover, misfits can destroy existing value. Despite the currently available cash horde at Microsoft's disposal if these units do
  • Microsoft seems to have lots of ideas for cornering the market, problem is they don't work on thier market as much as trying to corner all the rest (unless to make it in favor of thiers.)

    Until Vista comes out and proves to be something that solves their issues of worms, security, and spam zombies I think thier resources are best suited on what they already have (fix Windows, Outlook, IE, etc.). And if Vista doesn't, well they will need to still thier problems.

    Since Microsoft is primarily a manufacturer

  • I dunno, that's a lot of evil to concentrate into one place.

    Re. the naming: Back when IBM-acquiring-Apple rumors used to circulate back in the 80's, the joke was this: What do you call the merger between IBM and Apple? IBM.
    • "What do you call the merger between IBM and Apple? IBM."
      Yes, but it no longer would have been International Business Machines. It would have, instead, stood for I'm Building Macintoshes.
  • by Ragica (552891)
    Just when I was starting not to despise (some aspects of) Yahoo so much again at long last, this. No matter how far fetched, just it having been said, makes me feel... nervous.
  • Would Dracula merging with Frankenstein's Monster to take out, uh, Buffy, be a good idea? No, you'd just get an even uglier monster (especially compared to the sexy Goog- uh, Buffy) with a combination of skills that would seem to plug the others' holes (eg, Dracula's shapeshifting plus FM's zombieness) but really just leave it trying to focus on too many things at once (Blood? Electricity? Love?!). Plus as any geek knows, Buffy always wins.
  • I'm convinced that popular services like Yahoo and MSN Groups will be casualties of a merger of this sort. You currently have both of them primarily because they wanted to compete directly with each other at any cost. After they merge, they'll start by eliminating duplication - meaning either Yahoo or MSN Groups will go. Then, they'll try to find ways to make people pay a fee to use whatever service is left - and that will destroy much of their usefulness. (EG. Freecycle pretty much works through Yaho
  • Look at it is this way: Yahoo is already using a relatively open, web-based strategy to make money. Meanwhile, Microsoft has poured hundeds of millions of dollars into MSN, first as a way of binding Windows-using Internet users to Windows even more tightly (which didn't make money), and then more recently, making steps of not requiring Windows to get interesting functionality (and that still might not make money). Seems to me Yahoo should go it alone, and if MSN's new strategy fails, just hire away the good

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