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Yahoo Seeking Partnership With News Corp. 91

Posted by Soulskill
from the seeking-allies-against-the-axis-of-google dept.
rattlesoft tips us to a Washington Post report that Yahoo is now seeking a partnership with News Corp. A related Reuters article notes that analysts are skeptical of such a deal. From the Post: "Yahoo is talking with a number of potential partners, possibly as a way to either stave off future Microsoft offers or in an effort to drive up the software giant's offer. The talks between News Corp. and Yahoo ... may signal a resumption of discussions that took place last summer between the two media giants that quieted during the fall. Such a combination would make News Corp. the largest single shareholder in a Yahoo/Fox Interactive unit. That would marry the world's most popular social-networking site, MySpace, with Yahoo's 4 billion page views per month to make a formidable opponent for Google."
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Yahoo Seeking Partnership With News Corp.

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  • Great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Niten (201835) on Friday February 15, 2008 @06:21AM (#22432280)

    Just what we need -- another of the major players in Web content to fall under the News Corporation sphere of influence. As though they don't already do enough harm as it is, with their holdings in the traditional press...

    • Not sure if I should.. but I always worry when these large powers get bigger.
      • Re:Great (Score:5, Funny)

        by SolitaryMan (538416) on Friday February 15, 2008 @07:24AM (#22432592) Homepage Journal

        Not sure if I should.. but I always worry when these large powers get bigger.

        No, you shouldn't. Get back to shopping.

        • by rdradar (1110795)
          Its weird how much news coverage Yahoo has got after Microsoft's interest to buy them. In my opinion they're turning it around greatly and using it as and advantage. Or can anyone disagree after reading about Yahoo on slashdot every day? :)
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by xedd (75960)
            Yahoo looks like a sinking ship to me. Sending out an SOS. It's like they're giving up. What is the corporate mentality now at Yahoo: do they see themselves as some sort of start-up seeking to make a big splash so they can get bought-up by a big corporation? How rinky-dink.

            And, News Corp! Christ, can they go any lower?
  • by utnapistim (931738) <dan.barbusNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday February 15, 2008 @06:23AM (#22432292) Homepage

    That would marry the world's most popular social-networking site, MySpace, with Yahoo's 4 billion page views per month to make a formidable opponent for Google.

    I realize they're competing in market share and some products, but would that make them opponents? As far as I'm concerned, I use Google search (and a lot of other Google stuff) and this deal wouldn't make me change anything.

    I don't see this as competing with Google's targeted ads at all (except in market share, and it's nowhere near enough to be a serious competition in that).

    Maybe I'm missing something though.

    • by Vectronic (1221470) on Friday February 15, 2008 @07:06AM (#22432492)
      Time, is what you are missing...

      with the combined effort, and more importantly financial backing, Yahoo could over a year or two become equal or even greater than Google in many possibly most ways, even if they have to do it by buying out smaller companies, thus buying loyalty aswell as new customers.
      • by DuncanE (35734) * on Friday February 15, 2008 @07:45AM (#22432678) Homepage
        No I think you're missing it.

        Try this...

        Type google.com into you address bar. You get a nice simple page with a box you type you query into.

        Now type yahoo.com. You get the kind of web pages that makes my eyes bleed with all the flashing stuff. Takes you a few seconds to fine the search box yeah?

        This is, in its simplest form, why yahoo isnt going to come anywhere near google.

        (and dont mention search.yahoo.com, cause my wife/grandmother/uncle/lowIQ friend is never going to figure that out)
        • This is very true (Score:4, Insightful)

          by keirre23hu (638913) <j2k4real@NOSPAm.gmail.com> on Friday February 15, 2008 @08:15AM (#22432838) Homepage
          All this will do is obfuscate Yahoo! (tm) that much more. I like this deal more than the MS one, just because I shudder to think of the effect of the loss of either hotmail or yahoo mail or yahoo IM or MSN Instant Messenger on millions of users. And to date, I havent seen much positive come from the companies MS has procured, usually their services wither and die, while some parts get "assimilated".

          This potential deal does not make Yahoo/News Corp competitive with Google. Yahoo gets millions of hits from users who are looking for YAHOO CONTENT and SERVICES, Google gets millions of hits from users looking for other sites content or using Google's services which dont cleanly map against Yahoo. The only arguably competitive services are search, web email, and maps. I would argue that yahoo is already equal in search quality, close to parity in web email, and much superior in maps (google maps has given me faulty directions and even put addresses in the wrong places enough times that I switched back to Yahoo for that service). The thing is though, there is no incentive for users to switch over to Yahoo from Google. In order for them to actually line up competitively, Yahoo would require major architectural changes in the way they present themselves on the web, which would throw off many years of work for questionable results. I don't see it. I think if Yahoo! is going to be profitable again, they need to come up with "the next Big Thing", simply looking over at Google and saying were gonna compete with them isnt going to do it. Their web-presence is already cluttered to death, adding to it won't attract google's core search audience (people looking for clean simple accurate web search interface).
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I like this deal more than the MS one

            I definitely do not. Microsoft's bias is simple: They want windows to win, and in so doing want to make lots of money.

            If you've been paying attention to the issue for the past decade or so, then you'll know that News Corp's bias is much more complex and nefarious, and extends to utilizing its media influence to systematically press a political agenda. For example, with high confidence you could attribute the majority of the support for the Iraq war in the U.S., Britai

        • Hmmmmm
          To search on google
          1. Type www.google.com
          2. Type query
          3. Type return
          4. View results

          To search on yahoo

          1. type www.yahoo.com
          2. Type query
          3. Type return
          4. view results

          Tell me again how the two are different ?.
          • by Kierthos (225954)
            Google has a lot less crap in the way of finding the search field.
            • you dont need to find it, its right at the top, and its in focus, so just type and hit return
            • by NickCatal (865805)
              http://search.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] (yahoo clean searc page)
              http://www.live.com/ [live.com] (msn clean search page)

              All 3 of the big players, Google, Yahoo, and MSN, have pretty good search algorithms in place. If you ran a Yahoo or MSN Live search and put it in the google template you wouldn't notice any major difference.

              Seriously...
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TRS80NT (695421)
            Load time.
            I'm on dial-up on one computer and several months ago had to drop Yahoo as my home page because of the bloat. You know how sometimes you want to use the Home icon to bail out of a situation. You want to know ASAP that things have stabilized.


          • They're different if you have HDAD, probably what the parent is suffering from. Maybe instead of search.yahoo.com, they should name it adhd.yahoo.com


        • It's a bit of a different issue though. Try this experiment instead: type http://www.google.ca/ig [google.ca]. Now type http://search.yahoo.com./ [search.yahoo.com] Sure, each site has picked a different one to be their default, but that's just a matter of taste.
        • by Wite_Noiz (887188)
          Actually... I think you're missing it.

          Yahoo isn't primarily a search provider, they're a content portal (at least, I think that's how they present themselves).

          I agree, their main site is very cluttered, but for their primary target audience it offers everything they need/want (since they can customise it).

          True, for people doing a search, Google has become popular because of its simple homepage - but personally, I haven't visited a search engine's homepage in months, because I use the search bar on Fx instea
        • I agree, I highly dislike Yahoo's main/common page, although it doesnt take me any time at all to find the search input, and to anyone who uses it on a daily basis would take even less time...

          However, a lot of people enjoy being bombarded by information, this also includes myself from time to time... get bored, arent really sure "Where you wanna go today"... and its the same as MSN.com or whatever other ones may be out there, especially when it comes to Office workers, they really enjoy sitting down at thei
        • by wall0159 (881759)
          Hell, I didn't even know you could navigate to yahoo.com any more. I don't think I've typed that in since about 1995...
    • As somebody else wrote here in an earlier discussion: Search is not Google's product. You are. Google sells page views to ad customers. So if there is a competitor in the ad market with a similar outreach concerning users, it is a competitor even if it does not offer search, online office or whatever else in Googles product range at all.
  • Cry for help (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bibel (1072798) on Friday February 15, 2008 @06:24AM (#22432298) Homepage
    What Yahoo is trying to say is : "Anything but Microsoft. ANYTHING !"
    • ..but MySpace runs ASP.NET & MS IIS. Oh, the irony...
      • Indirectly using Microsoft products is completely different to being owned by Microsoft. Heck, Microsoft uses Linux servers now and then.
        • True, but the entirety of MySpace's infrastructure is ASP/IIS. That's hardly "indirectly". Do you believe that the entirety of Microsoft's infrastructure runs Linux? I think not. Bad comparison.
          • MySpace might run on ASP/IIS, doesn't mean Yahoo directly runs off of it by partnering with the company that owns MySpace.
    • by dhavleak (912889)
      It actually does sounds a lot like that.. talks with Google (for ads and search), Newscorp, AOL etc. but then turning down MS's offer. This is getting curiouser and curiouser by the day..
    • by h4rm0ny (722443)

      Possibly people here see Microsoft as the big evil. Well sometimes it might be. But stand it next to Murdoch's Newscorp and it looks like Ghandi in comparison. The last thing I want to see is yet another part of the media gobbled up by that company.
    • by eln (21727) on Friday February 15, 2008 @11:16AM (#22434546) Homepage
      Maybe they wanted to be acquired by a big evil corporation, but they were concerned that Microsoft just wasn't evil enough.
    • by westlake (615356)
      What Yahoo is trying to say is : "Anything but Microsoft. ANYTHING !"

      That's the Yahoo! board speaking. Not the Yahoo! shareholders who are quietly trying to cut a deal with Microsoft.

  • by neonmonk (467567) on Friday February 15, 2008 @06:47AM (#22432412)
    Seems Yahoo are quite familiar with the concept of 'Friends With Benefits'.

    Although in the case of Microsoft they're also familiar with daterape.
    • Seems Yahoo are quite familiar with the concept of 'Friends With Benefits'.

      Although in the case of Microsoft they're also familiar with daterape.
      Wouldn't that more correctly be termed datarape? :-)
  • Sounds like a marriage made in heaven.

    Ed

    • How is Myspace in decline? Cite a source, please.
      • by dc29A (636871) * on Friday February 15, 2008 @07:31AM (#22432614)

        How is Myspace in decline? Cite a source, please.
        Here [businessweek.com].
        • by justinlee37 (993373) on Friday February 15, 2008 @07:59AM (#22432752)

          "The founder of social networking giant MySpace has claimed that the sale of the business to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation last year for $580 million was a scandal and has demanded an investigation into his allegations that it was sold too cheaply.

          ...

          Greenspan alleges that the management of the company and chief executive Richard Rosenblatt in particular of hiding vital financial information about MySpace parent Intermix Media's performance in order to convince the shareholders that $580 million was a fair price for the business.

          'News Corp.'s valuation has increased by $12 billion since the transaction occurred just one year ago, and there are several independent analysts today that agree that Myspace is worth tens of billions of dollars," Greenspan said. "It is time everyone knew the truth about the 'hijacking' of Myspace and the individuals responsible for this eye popping theft.'

          ...

          Greenspan said that he found internal company reports which said that MySpace revenue grew at a rate of 1,289% a year between 2003 and 2005. The growth of the whole of the company, which included other units, was 52%, which is the figure which most shareholders were given, says Greenspan.

          Greenspan made $47 million from the sale of the company, which he left in 2003 amid an informal SEC inquiry and restatements of accounts, according to Reuters."

          http://www.out-law.com/page-7372

      • by g0dsp33d (849253)
        I realize its not a valid source, but I got really annoyed with Myspace because of all the ads and crap it started loading. Not to mention the annoying music and themes everyone had. Facebook was cleaner and presumably gave me a little more privacy. Myspace randomly deleted my account with no notice and I never looked back.

        Now facebook is starting to get annoying with more ads (since the Microsoft buy-in) and the stupid new "applications". At least they don't have as many spam accounts. Kinda hoping they
  • by davmoo (63521) on Friday February 15, 2008 @07:01AM (#22432468)
    A major search engine aligned with Faux News. Talk about a propaganda mouthpiece...
    • by Bartab (233395)
      Sad day in Slashdot when such a comment wholly lacking in insight is moderated in such a manner.
      • You must be new here.

        For the record, *all* of the big media outlets have biases. It's just more popular to attack Fox than it is CNN or MSNBC here because of the general political bent of the majority of Slashdotters.
    • Wow, +5 insightful for parroting a left biased "news man" bashing a right biased network with childish name calling. Talk about a lack of proper moderation.
      • Fox news built its audience by (claiming to) fill in the hole in coverage left by the left-wing old media. It seemed to be doing that by including (but not limiting itself to) coverage of the conservative side of things. It did seem to be giving the libertarian viewpoint short shrift. But it still gave the appearance of filling in the big dead spot.

        But over the last year it has shown itself to be massively biased, not just toward conservative positions, but toward a PARTICULAR one of the four-or-so major
    • by kellyb9 (954229)
      A news corporation is a business above all else. They ask themselves "What sells?". Regardless of what you think, you dont become one of the lsrgest aggregators of news by mistake. I think you should be less concerned with who's selling it, and be more concerned with who's buying it.

  • Microsoft? News Corp?

    How about Halliburton put in a bid just to make it an even trifecta.

    I wonder if Halliburton buy a search engine, would Bush finally be able to find Bin-Laden?
  • F*ck Yahoo! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PontifexPrimus (576159) on Friday February 15, 2008 @07:42AM (#22432658)
    Fuck them, they ruin everything they get their greedy little mitts on; latest example is one of my favorite Firefox extensions, FoxyTunes [foxytunes.com]. They were bought out by Yahoo! and subsequently had to replace the lyrics query that went to the open LyricWiki with Y!Music, which hardly contains any lyrics [foxytunes.com] to the songs I listen to. Oh, and of course Yahoo! Music doesn't allow you to upload lyrics you transcribed yourself. I've started hating Yahoo! with a really serious passion lately...
    • by jez9999 (618189)
      Think that's bad, you should see what Microsoft does to companies they buy out. Ever hear of LinkExchange?
    • by kellyb9 (954229)

      They were bought out by Yahoo! and subsequently had to replace the lyrics query that went to the open LyricWiki with Y!Music, which hardly contains any lyrics to the songs I listen to.
      Maybe it's just Yahoo!s what of telling you to listen to better music.
    • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Friday February 15, 2008 @09:55AM (#22433634) Journal

      There - fixed that for you. ;) If you're going to say something, say it. No words are proscribed.

      Oh, and I agree.
    • Not true, not eveyting. Yahoo acquired babelfish (now babelfish.yahoo.com) and it works just as well (or as badly) as the original one. They even added a few languages since.
      • Good point, but I suppose that's because Yahoo! doesn't own a crappy machine translation subsidiary. When they partnered with Opera Mini [opera.com] (the browser version for mobile devices) they removed Google not only as the default search engine but also as an option from the drop-down - and then put Yahoo! Search in its place. I wouldn't complain if they replaced stuff with something of equal or better value, but this "it's ours, so you have to use it no matter how crappy it is" attitude kinda pisses me off.
  • legislate (Score:5, Interesting)

    by symes (835608) on Friday February 15, 2008 @07:42AM (#22432660) Journal
    I think the most important message here is that search engines should be obliged under law to insure the integrity of their search algorithms and that any deviation is documented and transparent. It would be scary if one of the worlds biggest search engines overweighted Fox News in searches for factual information, downplaying Reuters, etc. I'm not saying Fox makes stuff up but they certainly have their own, shall we say, house style.
    • by jav1231 (539129)
      You do realize that Reuters is a news service and Fox is a network right? For all the talk about Fox's "bias" I see it mostly in the commentary, just like CNN and MSNBC. That's because its well....commentary. I read Foxnews.com a lot. A large portion of those stories are right off the AP wire and many times completely unedited. Yet, I bet if you read the same story to the great conspiracy minded and told them you got it from Foxnews.com they'd swear it was biased.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by h4rm0ny (722443)

        Neither agreeing nor disagreeing with you, but pointing out that a bias can also be expressed in the selection and especially the omission of stories. Which I believe Fox is a case with Fox.
        • by jav1231 (539129)
          CNN, MSNBC, most have some kind of bias. The idea that Fox is somehow more so is simply playing for the team. But hey, it's a popular notion and ultimately that's what most people care about.

    • by mooreti1 (1123363)
      Legislate search queries? Are you kidding? Under what portion of the Constitution could you possibly justify legislating a search engine? Plus, getting the government involved with a marketplace is just a horrible idea. Why give the Fed the foothold in net neutrality the large ISP's have been looking for?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TerribleNews (1195393)
      The beauty of the internet, though, is that there are so many people and resources connected, all the time, that even if Yahoo became solely a right-winged-whack-job propaganda machine, there would still be a million-billion-zillion other places to look for your information. If people can't be bothered to corroborate what they read in the "news" when they've got the entire world's worth of knowledge available then no amount of legislation will fix that. If anything, legislation will make the problem worse,
  • I think I'd rather MS bought Yahoo!, come to think of it...
  • "Yahoo says they are seeking a partnership with News Corp" would be more accurate.

    Yahoo needs to justify to its shareholders why they did not close the deal with Microsoft.
    This moves allows them to buy some time to negotiate with them and maybe increase their offer.
  • Run for the hills (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Joebert (946227)
    Does anyone else shudder at the thought of Myspace & Yahoo users as a collective being unleashed on the Internet ?
  • by Yaa 101 (664725) on Friday February 15, 2008 @08:38AM (#22432964) Journal
    That Rupert Murdoch is actually MUCH worse than Bill Gates?
    • Myspace is not exactly atheist friendly - would yahoo go the same way? http://www.secularstudents.org/node/1933 [secularstudents.org]
    • by mgblst (80109)
      In the technology field, Bill has held us all back here for many years, caused us all loads of problems. What has Rupert done? Sure he holds sway over a lot of dodgy networks, but would they be any more fair or impartial if some over jokes had control over them?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by huckamania (533052)
        I'm so tired of hearing this canard. Why not blame Intel or Dell or HP or Compaq or Gateway or IBM or Sony or Toshiba or my favorite, Treasure Chest Computers*. Microsoft won because they sold a commodity OS that ran commodity SW on commodity HW and they let pretty much anyone be a vendor. It's that simple.

        Apple didn't lose, so much as they could never grow as fast as all of the windows clone makers and Apple never benefited as rapidly from economy of scale and hyper-competition, which meant that thei
        • The truth of how MS strong armed PC providers (to the point that they, from clients, became hostages of MS's) is widely known.

          If you are tired of hearing the truth is none of other people's concern frankly.
          • ...are boring. I use tired and boring interchangeably. If I'm not bored then I'm usually also not tired.

            There are lots of tired memes on Slashdot and bash MS is the strongest. Yes, there are lots of bash company X memes and they all follow the same basic script, but MS is the bugbear of Slashdot. For Slashdot to maintain relevance, there needs to be analysis that goes beyond knee jerk reactions.

            This current case is a stunning example. MS offers to buy Yahoo. Slashdotters unite in dismay and dread.
    • The only thing separating Rupert Murdoch from pretty much duplicating every bit of damage William Randolph Hearst caused is Murdoch paving 1/3 of a coastal California county and building "La Cuesta Inquisición" (a.k.a. Murdoch Castle).

      • I agree. They are both bad choices and I would wish for an independent Yahoo over any combination. News corporation tries to stiffle thought with their deliberately dumbed down Infotainment masquerading as News, while MS tries to stifle innovation that would compete with their windows monopoly. In retrospect, I think the MS is the lesser of the two evils here since Gates is mostly greed motivated and not power or control oriented like Murdoch. Gates does not care what you think as long as you run windows, w
    • Personally, I would rather Software/internet giants interbreed than mix with the vapid likes of News Corp. At the very least, they don't have conniving schemes to influence public opinion like a Murdochsoft would do. They already have large amounts of influence with Myspace, etc. No, I am not fearing a conspiracy, I do not like the fact that you have a media owner-turned web giant.
  • they would be like two peas in a pod...

    Yahoo being the street whore & Microsoft being the ghetto pimp that drives a purple Lincoln...
  • by Comboman (895500) on Friday February 15, 2008 @09:44AM (#22433494)
    Homer: "I just invested in a company called NewsCorp"

    Lisa: "Dad, that's Fox."

    Homer: "Ahh! Undo, undo!"

  • 1. Drop the "!". So '90s (and such a setup for disappointment - very '90s).

    2. Let anyone with a Yahoo account stream from a Yahoo page any music they want for free (Yahoo pays the royalties). Put ads in the streams, just like radio.

    3. SURVIVE! (On the profits. Yes, you can still use a "!" occasionaly when you pull it off.)
  • I wouldn't mind if Yahoo ran MySpace. Maybe they could actually fix^H^H^Hcompletely rewrite it.
  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Friday February 15, 2008 @01:01PM (#22435892)
    Good people who work at Yahoo are running for the hills [valleywag.com]. Even if they stay independent, there won't be anyone left to implement Jerry's secret plans to save Yahoo.
  • I can see it now. Searching for Barack Obama will turn out 50 links about how he is a Jihadist who supported Saddam Hussein in plotting 9/11.

    9/11.
  • At the top of the screen, there will be a Fox ticker that can never be shut off, that reminds users to:

    "Watch the best season yet of the same old American Idol, tonight on FOX!"
    "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader tonight on FOX!"
    "See House yet again solve a medical mystery, tonight on FOX!"
    "Our best ripoff of a movie yet: Terminator, tonight on FOX!"
    "Yet Another Stupid Gameshow/Reality TV/Lame Scripted Show, tonight on FOX"
    "See House reruns every day of the week so we don't have to make up new TV shows, to
    • Does Yahoo's "Terms of Service" contract still include a clause saying that users aren't allowed to use the service to say bad things about Yahoo or good things about their competition?

      If News International took over, would that clause (or its replacement) mean that Yahoo users weren't allowed to criticise NI or their dealings on Yahoo forums, on pain of having their membership (and email, etc.) shut down? p And would "NI Yahoo" be allowed to transfer user details and histories and emails to its newly-aff

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