Yahoo/Microsoft: Who Won, Who Lost?

Now that the attempted merger of Yahoo and Microsoft (Microhoo?) is behind us (for now), I think it’s time take a look at who won and who lost in the deal:

LOSER: Microsoft

While I give Steve Ballmer points for not overpaying for Yahoo, he still doesn’t have a real plan to fight Google. So don’t be surprised if he makes another attempt to buy them later on this year.

LOSER: Yahoo

Jerry Yang may be happy that Microsoft has pulled its offer, but he now has a very short amount of time to prove that rejecting Microsoft was the right decision. For what it’s worth, the market seems to think that he made the wrong decision as Yahoo stock was being hammered in pre-market trading this morning. Not to mention the fact that Yang’s employees are likely ticked at him because Microsoft had set aside $1.5 billion to retain them. Chances are, those same employees are currently e-mailing their CV’s to Google now that the deal has fallen through.

WINNER: Google

All these guys had to do is sit back and watch the fun. They’re still number one in the search engine and online advertising biz, plus they may get an alliance with Yahoo out of this circus. If that happens, expect some chairs to be flying in Redmond.

I’ll reiterate what I said the last time I wrote about this. This is not over. Expect Microsoft to come back looking to buy Yahoo at some point. At least it will be a lower price when they do try this again.

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