What did the normally very insightful Tim O’Reilly and Fred Wilson have for lunch, some free hallucinogenic deserts over at Google?
Both are criticizing Mike Arrington for stating the obvious – Yahoo’s not acting in the best interest of shareholders or Yahoo or anybody except Google, who clearly is the big winner in Yahoo’s squandered megadeal with Microsoft.
Fred very correctly notes that Yahoo’s has faced leadership challenges for a long time, but he says he likes the one option that keeps the current Yahoo board intact and very much on track for much more of the same company crushing behavior. Yes, a clean house is needed and that is certainly less likely to happen *now*.
It seems to me there are two issues and they have it wrong on both counts where Arrington’s got it right.
First, Yahoo’s Google move proved that in terms of shareholder obligations it should have sold to MS. Yahoo cannot reasonably make a case that they will come out of the monetization hole using core values while immediately outsourcing their most potentially lucrative biz to Google. Sure this will make more than Yahoo alone, but nothing like what the MS deal would have offered Yahoo in terms of ad cash plus money to develop the search biz. MS offered a shot at glory. Yahoo took Google’s money so they could keep sitting back and watching the really big search money pass them by.
Is Fred saying there is a Googley path back to $34+ per share? Even if yes, it is nonsense to think it’ll happen fast enough to justify turning down MS’s offer of $34 and their subsequent offer of $35 for 1 in 6 of Yahoo’s outstanding shares.
Second, this just gives Google even more of a near monopoly on monetization. As Mike suggests competiton is lacking and needed in the search space. This is a big step in the wrong direction.
Disclosure: Long on YHOO