Yes to Yahoo-MSN, No to Microsoft-Buys-Yahoo

After fumbling its opportunity to get in bed with AOL, Microsoft has one more way to gain the scale necessary to be a serious competitor to Google: Get in bed with Yahoo.  (I am extremely skeptical that the MSN-is-a-Microsoft-division strategy will ever work–a skepticism developed over 11 years of watching Microsoft make vow after vow …

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Phone Co Toll Demand Seems Reasonable

My initial reaction upon hearing that Verizon, et al, want to charge Google, Yahoo!, et al, for carrying broadband content over their networks was that this was yet another pathetic attempt by whining, dying monopolies to make themselves relevant in a new world.  After reading the details, however, it seems that the content providers are the ones …

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Analyzing More Ad Market Data Points

Ross Levinsohn of Fox Interactive says that Fox is seeing no signs of an advertising slowdown (per Mediapost), a tidbit suggesting that Yahoo!’s problems may be, well, just Yahoo! problems.  Meanwhile, Lowe’s preannounced modestly disappointing results and blamed them on the housing market, as did homebuilder Lennar.  Washington Mutual recently said that the inverted yield curve …

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Microsoft Sharpens Knives, Points At Google Books

After a government-and-monopoly-inspired period in which Microsoft had to pretend to be a gentle force for global good, the company is being forced to return to its ruthless roots.  Ironically, it is doing this in part by decrying the unfair practices of a competitor and shamelessly sucking up to the Establishment. Today’s speech by Thomas …

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Edelman on Click Fraud: Snarky, Real, and Hard to Control

Thanks to several Internet Outsider readers (and journalists) who pointed me toward Harvard PhD candidate Ben Edelman’s recent work on spyware click-fraud at Yahoo!  Edelman articulates his research and findings in extraordinary detail, and provides screen shots, video, and packet logs as proof. As Edelman describes (see below), the click fraud he observes is different than the usual kind …

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How to Fix Yahoo: Fortune (and I) Weigh In

Fortune columnists Adam Lashinsky and Tim Arango have thrown their hats into the how-to-save-Yahoo ring, citing four options: 1) buy AOL, 2) sell to Microsoft, 3) merge with eBay, 4) stay the course. Buying AOL makes sense, I think, but it won’t fix anything.  Selling to Microsoft would be a disaster (Microsoft can’t fix MSN–how would …

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Back By Popular Demand…The Google Earnings Sweepstakes!

You know the drill.  Please submit your estimates of: 1) Google’s Q4 NET REVENUE (excluding affiliate payouts), 2) The price at which Google’s stock will open the morning after the earnings announcement, and 3) BONUS: Your logic about both of the above.  The more detail the better. Please submit your bets to the comments section of …

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Why Microsoft Can’t Buy Yahoo and “Just Be GE”

In the wake of last week’s Microsoft-for-Yahoo rumors (and desperate hopes from the likes of me that the rumored deal would fall through), readers questioned my theory that a Microsoft acquisition would kill both MSN and Yahoo.  I argued that Microsoft was already spread too thin, competing with Oracle/IBM on one side and Sony/Apple/Google/Time Warner …

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Google to Wall Street: “Wait! We DO Care!”

Nothing like a cold shoulder to melt the ice.  Jonathan Berr of thestreet.com reports that, now that Wall Street has collectively flipped Google the bird, the company has developed an interest in what investors think.  Specifically, Berr says, the company has hired an IR firm to survey analysts about what they want to hear about at the …

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