by Mike Masnick
Mon, Feb 11th 2008 1:58am
Over the weekend, reports quickly came out that Yahoo's board had apparently decided to reject Microsoft's takeover bid, which wasn't too surprising, given what the company had been hinting at all week. There was plenty of talk about looking for other suitors, but one by one, the few obvious candidates all backed away. Then, late Sunday a new rumor arose: Yahoo! might try to keep Microsoft away by merging with AOL. That seems sort of like trying to keep a wild animal from eating you by covering yourself with feces. It might make awful sense for about a second, but it's just a bad, bad idea. First, it's unlikely to work -- and, second, it's just pathetic. As much as it seemed like Microsoft merging its web operations with Yahoo would be two also-rans pretending a merger would somehow make them into a web operation people cared about, merging with AOL would be even worse. Of course, the folks over at Google must be laughing hysterically at the possibility. Not only would an AOL/Yahoo merger appear to be less of a competitive worry than a Yahoo/Microsoft merger, Google might actually make out quite well in the deal, since it owns a piece of AOL. So, in the unlikely chance that Yahoo merges with AOL and fends off Microsoft, Google would cash out of AOL, watch Yahoo struggle to merge with AOL and see Microsoft left without a big internet partner. That has to be Google's dream scenario.
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