CEOs of the World, Unite!....Behind Microhoo?
Even with the madcap Apache dance between Microsoft and Yahoo supposedly over, it's still getting a lot of attention from people you'd assume have more important things to ponder. The latest bout, from the D: All Things Digital Conference, has a who's who list of technology execs tossing in their two cents on how to get the two bruised and bickering behemoths to play nice.
Though the official word out of both Microsoft and Yahoo is that the merger deal is dead, the tech world continues to hold out hope, or so it seems. Barry Diller — mentor to the moguls of the world — is baffled at Microsoft's lack of backbone, saying "[I]f you fire a gun in a hostile offer, the bullet has to land in the heart. Otherwise, I can't imagining firing at all." Rupert Murdoch, an influential if perhaps infamous name in media and technology, agrees, proposing to lock everyone involved in a room until they work something out, and "clean it up afterward."
Murdoch also had a bit to say about Carl Icahn, the notorious merchandiser of hostile takeovers who is launching a shareholder coup against Yahoo's board. Quoth Murdoch: "That is not serious. Look, he wants to make a few hundred-million dollars for himself." We won't question Mr. Murdoch's analysis — he's got more money than we do — but things are looking a lot more serious with the Icahn coup, as the FTC has cleared him to buy another $1.5 billion in Yahoo stock, bringing him to a total of $2.5 billion. We're not well schooled in the games of the absurdly rich, but that sounds like an awful lot of money to be tossing out on a bet.