The faulty Times of London rumor over the weekend about a pending major Yahoo search deal with Microsoft was likely spawned in part by what appear to be correct reports that Jonathan Miller, former CEO of AOL, has been working to pull together at deal that would value Yahoo in the $20-$22 per share range and lead to a takeover of the company, presumably the deal would put Miller in a key role.
Miller’s interesting history as an AOL innovator and corporate rescue man who was fired after what many think were successful actions suggests to me that he’s eyeing Yahoo as a way to get back in the internet saddle in a major way. Yahoo’s internet footprint remains *larger than Google’s*, yet Yahoo’s legendarily inept monetization of this online traffic has let Google leave them in the revenue dust. As a company Yahoo is a lean shadow of its former self, but as an internet empire they are still doing just fine. One caveat is that Yahoo continues to lag Google big time in the most lucrative online activity of search. However, as one of a handful of global website empires that can shape user behavior simply by adjusting their offerings, advertising, and navigation elements Yahoo optimists like me continue to think that Yahoo’s problems can be fixed, leaving them in a position to double revenues in short order. They do not have to match Google’s revenues or monetization to be wildly successful – they just need to *do somewhat better than they do now*. I’m betting they can.
Disclosure: Long on Yahoo (in fact I just bought more today)