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Yahoo Bidders Can't Even Agree On What They're Buying (recode.net) 46

It's been a while since Yahoo has been up for sale, but the interested companies are still struggling to figure out what parts of Yahoo are worth purchasing. "Being for sale is what Yahoo does for a living now," Kara Swisher reports. "This is a pretty basic deal with everyone trying to figure out the risk and reward here of taking over a clearly failing business," said one bidder quoted in the report. "Everyone has different criteria for what matters." Yahoo essentially has three things to offer, which come with their own set of problems. From the report: (1) Its core business that includes search, advertising and media assets, all of which are in decline and getting worse.
(2) Its patent portfolio that the company thinks is worth as much as $3 billion, but others peg at $1 billion.
(3) Its real estate, which the company is pegging at about $1 billion, while others put it at a much lower value.
It's also being reported that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will have to leave the company, regardless of whether it gets acquired or not. Some of the potential buyers include Verizon, which according to the report, isn't interested in getting Yahoo's patents. It is offering $3B to $3.5B all-cash. Several private equity firms, who are interested in getting hold of Yahoo-owned patents and real estate, are offering Yahoo a sum of $5 billion or more. "This deal is not one in which everyone's really enthusiastic, since there is a giant question of how quickly the business is deteriorating," said another bidder. "If you win, you might lose and vice versa."
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Yahoo Bidders Can't Even Agree On What They're Buying

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  • by paradigm82 ( 959074 ) on Friday June 10, 2016 @03:33PM (#52290725)
    Yahoo shareowners are probably angry they didn't accept Microsofts $44 billion bid in 2008. And Microsoft is probably very lucky Yahoo rejected the bid! That might very well have been with the end of Microsoft. This bid of Microsoft back then was to me (a lay person) obviously a full-retard crazy bid for a faltering business. This just proves how incompetence thrives even (or especially actually) at the higher ladders of management. In most companies I have been employed that did well, it seems the success was more despite of management than because of it. Most leaders, CEO's etc. are utterly incompetent, despite of the picture the media often attempts to paint of "great leaders". By the way, note how the tech press has even seemed to "glorify" the supposed value of Yahoo in even the past few years, praising it as a high tech company even though there is nothing noteworthy about the products offered. $3.5 billion is also way too much - but it is small enough the loss can be "covered up" by the acquirer down the line (hidden behind dubious "synergistic effects") so it is plausible it could sell at that price.
    • I think it is a shame that Microsoft did not buy Yahoo back in 2008.

      The technical clash would have been one thing. (Would Microsoft insist they use all IIS and Windows OS for the servers? What about Exchange for handling email?)

      But the cultural clash would have been something else entirely. Something we would still be talking about today if it had happened.

      And yes, it would likely have destroyed Microsoft, and also not fixed any of Yahoo's actual problems.
    • Microsoft would be able to absorb all Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Search users into Outlook and Bing circa 2008. It's a good strategy if they think the brand dominance is worth $44 billion.

      Between 2011 and 2014, Yahoo had a total net (after-taxes, after-expenses) income of ~$9.75 billion. If Microsoft backed down out of it after 2014, folding Yahoo operations into Outlook and Bing, that's a raw $16 billion in profits. Yahoo took a $4.3 billion loss in 2015, cutting that back to $12 billion; but Microsoft migh

    • Yahoo shareowners are probably angry they didn't accept Microsofts $44 billion bid in 2008.

      As a Yahoo! customer during that time, Microsoft buying Yahoo! would have led to faster decline than what was seen.

      And in all honesty, Yahoo! is operating like they don't *want* to have customers. I consistently get mailing list notifications on my Yahoo! mail now, sometimes having to re-enable a mailing list a few times a week. They are their own worst enemy right now; most of their issues could be resolved if they actually started caring about their customers again.

  • Wow, Yahoo must feel pretty stupid turning down that $44 billion from Microsoft now.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Of course you would lose!! It seems amazing to me that these big corporations trim wages, benefits, and fight unions. But are willing to throw billions and billions at a bad deal, and buy a failing business. Wow, what ridiculous priorities.

    • by Hylandr ( 813770 )

      Not at all.

      The business model isn't being bought, it's the assets the company may have.

      Those assets may be IP, Patents, client base, IPv4 blocks etc.

      They take what they want and shut down the rest.

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday June 10, 2016 @03:51PM (#52290857) Journal

    They're buying nothing... Nothing at all... A bunch of email addresses and a bunch of technologies that are either worthless or long ago replicated elsewhere. Yahoo isn't worth one millionth of whatever its pieces manage to earn in its dismantling. It was a worthless bit of property a decade ago, and it has only depreciated since then.

  • You're welcome.

  • A automagical machine that produces Silicon Valley unicorns ($1B+ valuation) that always goes up, never comes down and farts a pot of gold at every rainbow.
  • >> interested companies are still struggling to figure out what parts of Yahoo are worth purchasing

    When you're having a garage sale and two people want to buy the same old Risk set for $2, does it really matter whether they agree the old pieces or the old board are really the most valuable thing?
    • >> interested companies are still struggling to figure out what parts of Yahoo are worth purchasing When you're having a garage sale and two people want to buy the same old Risk set for $2, does it really matter whether they agree the old pieces or the old board are really the most valuable thing?

      It's more like having a garage sale where you're selling a couch, and different buys want different things from it. One buy wants the springs, feet, etc; another wants the pillows, stuffing, timber, and no one wants the cloth covering.

  • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Friday June 10, 2016 @06:13PM (#52291883) Journal

    This is the warning for CEOs who destroy the *ability* for the techs working hard to make a company like that function. We all know that it doesn't matter how keen or gung-ho you are to make things work for a company, if you take away an employee's ability to balance their responsibilities to their lives then you are going to get poor quality, if any, innovation in a business of that size because of the resentment and exhaustion it causes.

    Telecommuting, helps you restore your energies because suddenly a few hours of commuting is out of the way and you can get a few things done, and still get your work done. Not being able to balance telecommuting is the the elephant in the room for Mayer. Rather than "amplifying it's greatness" she destroyed a principle at Yahoo that would help them get there. Now the entire company is paying the price for all of the symptomatic issues of an exhausted workforce.

  • The cow is dry, it's time to salvage the meat.

  • You are buying a piece of shit. Polished.

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