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Parsing Yahoo: Move Along, Folks ... Nothing to See Here

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Old 06-13-2008
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Parsing Yahoo: Move Along, Folks ... Nothing to See Here
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So why was it Yahoo, not Microsoft, that revealed to the Wall Street Journal's Matt Karnitschnig that the latter was no longer interested in a full-blown acquisition of the former? Because Yahoo surely wanted to get the word out before any more shareholders punched their ballots, while Microsoft surely enjoyed the idea of Carl's slate getting as many votes as possible.
The Yahoo statement not only begs for the event to be seen as the end of the saga, but also for a good parsing.
Yahoo: Yahoo! Inc., a leading global Internet company, today announced that discussions with Microsoft regarding a potential transaction -- whether for an acquisition of all of Yahoo! or a partial acquisition -- have concluded.
Translation: We're absolutely, positively sure that this time this is actually the end.
Yahoo: The conclusion of discussions follows numerous meetings and conversations with Microsoft regarding a number of transaction alternatives, including a meeting between Yahoo! and Microsoft on June 8th in which Chairman Roy Bostock and other independent Board members from Yahoo! participated.
Translation: We tried really hard. And adult supervision was present.
Yahoo: At that meeting, Microsoft representatives stated unequivocally that Microsoft is not interested in pursuing an acquisition of all of Yahoo!, even at the price range it had previously suggested.
Translation: We're still dreaming of $37 in May of 2008. They're now dreaming of $17 in May of 2009.
Yahoo: With respect to an acquisition of Yahoo!'s search business alone that Microsoft had proposed, Yahoo!'s Board of Directors has determined, after careful evaluation, that such a transaction would not be consistent with the company's view of the converging search and display marketplaces, would leave the company without an independent search business that it views as critical to its strategic future and would not be in the best interests of Yahoo! stockholders.
Translation: It was never consistent with that view, but we were willing to make that sacrifice to stay independent."
Yahoo: Yahoo! remains focused on maximizing value for stockholders by continuing to execute on its strategy of being the "starting point" for the most consumers on the Internet and a "must buy" for advertisers.
Translation: Though we've heard rumors another company may already occupy those positions.
Yahoo: The online advertising industry is projected to grow from $40 billion in 2007 to approximately $75 billion in 2010...
Translation: The growth of the industry will outpace our ongoing share losses within that industry.
Yahoo: ...and the company believes it has the right assets, strategic plan, Board of Directors and management team to capitalize on this growth opportunity.
Translation: It was all just a bad dream. We're so grateful to back in Kansas.


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