Yahoo + AOL + Microsoft = Google Killer?

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How do you get three giants out of quicksand? The biggest giant eats the other two and makes a boat from their bones. That seems to be Wall Street’s approach to building an apt competitor to Google. Shortly after analysts dreamed of a Microsoft-owned Yahoo, they’ve amended their solution to include AOL.

Last week, Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen told reporters that an AOL Yahoo merger was possible in 2007. Cohen said an AOL Yahoo merger was “one of the more logical combinations” to take on Google, cut costs, and combine audiences, and that Time Warner was open to it.

This caused quite the buzz, spawning charts with potential combinations of companies that could merge with or be acquired by another company for strategic reasons. A Yahoo AOL combination is considered among the most likely, as is a Microsoft buy out of AOL and/or Yahoo.

Or, if we get out our pie-in-the-sky caps, the ideal scenario is Yahoo merges with AOL and Microsoft buys them both. MSN is sinking in the search market. Yahoo is stagnant. And AOL is ready to be sold for parts. But, theoretically, the high profile threesome could make one hell of a Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger.

This is GEMAYA revisited, that too big of a darn acronym symbolic of too big of a darn theoretical super conglomerate consisting of Google, eBay, Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo, AOL. And Wall Street gets so hot when people get all cyber-orgiastic.

On paper, it is potentially the only way Microsoft and Yahoo will catch Google. But since competition is key, making GEMAYA a ready target for trustbusters, maybe we should restructure that super conglomerate, add some, and divide it all into two mega-super-conglomerates.

It’s worked for the telcos, right?

How about DAMMIT (Disney, Amazon, Microsoft, Motorola, Interactive, Time Warner) vs. E-GANGS (eBay, Google, Apple, News Corp., General Electric, Sun Microsystems)?

Now we’re just being silly, aren’t we?

Something tells me we haven’t even seen silly yet. We just don’t know, at this point, what level or direction of silly it will be. It would seem silly for there not to be major collaborations to maximize the online market. The size of these potential super-companies isn’t just silly, it’s down right ridiculous. But it also seems silly to drive from the end-user seat, without any concrete confirmation from the players involved.

But it is fun to do, especially at the end of year when there’s little going on and you can’t think of anything to say.


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