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Purchase Of WebMD May Not Take Place

End of negotiations in sight

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[ Business]

Whether it’s a matter of strange planetary alignments, something in the air, or our wobbly economy, it’s hard to say, but in any event, these past few days haven’t been great for acquisitions.  The latest one to look ill is the proposed takeover of WebMD by HLTH Corporation.

Their names alone make the two companies look like a match, and they’ve been thinking things over since November of 2007.  That’s where we run into the first problem, however, with a formal release stating, "HLTH announced today that it has not yet been able to reach agreement . . . on mutually acceptable terms for a merger and that it plans to continue negotiations for a short period of time."

Then, "[a]fter such period, the process is expected to conclude, whether or not an agreement is reached.  There can be no assurance that a transaction will be agreed upon or ultimately consummated."Purchase Of WebMD May Not Take Place

Hardly sounds promising, does it?  Getty Images is stuck in a similar situation.  And then there’s Yahoo, which is in the middle of Microsoft’s acquisition attempt.

Strangely enough, though, there appears to be a connection between Yahoo’s and WebMD’s fates.  In regards to the latter, Rafat Ali reports, "Part of its lower outlook include its display advertising deal with yahoo, where it has a ‘more conservative outlook…based on the potential acquisition of their business.’"

Still, the resolution WebMD-HLTH relationship is probably of less importance than the other deals mentioned in this article; as things stand, HLTH already owns 84 percent of WebMD.

Purchase Of WebMD May Not Take Place
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