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When Yahoo Shareholders' Push Comes to Microsoft Shove

watson-frank
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The continuing discussions of the possible Yahoo/Microsoft merger are starting to get monotonous. I have some Yahoo stock and, as a shareholder, I think it's time the lesser players in this drama -- the average small investor -- unite to force this merger to go through.

Despite Yahoo's profitable Q1 report, the stock price has actually dipped. I'd gladly take the increased value Microsoft is offering, take the cash and put it somewhere else -- Baidu is looking good these days. Even the 20 percent jump in value Google had over this past week would have been nice -- and brought the stock up to the Microsoft offering price.

Yahoo just doesn't seem to hold any cache. The public no longer talks about Yahoo with the enthusiasm it once did, and part of the growth of Internet stock is linked to that popularity.

Yahoo used to be the stock people told others to grab. Now it seems to be seen as an old company that no longer holds the magic people expect from tech stocks.

Yahoo's value has seen a high of $34 and a low of $18 over the past year, and most of the time it has sat well below the $31 mark. As investors, we don't have a responsibility to help "save the Web," as some seem to think the merger will hurt it. We invest to make money, and Yahoo isn't giving back any value.

The trade could be done as a straight stock trade given the $31 price Microsoft is holding right now.

Let's forget about the hypothesized impact and go for the money. It's becoming a joke. Wall Street Journal blogger Kara Swisher compares it to the Democratic race, and I care about that less than my stock value. The days of getting rich from Yahoo stock are over. True, the stock may hold its value, but I don't see it being a wise long-term investment.

Seems Yahoo also lags behind in political campaign contributions. StraightUpSearch blog polled employees from the big three about their political contributions. Microsoft leads the way with more than $212,000, Google with more than $201,000, and Yahoo way less with $50,000. Interestingly, Microsoft and Google employees preferred different candidates -- Microsoft favored Hillary Clinton while Google went for Barack Obama. Seems none were big fans of John McCain.

As has been pointed out, Yahoo's stock has only jumped in value after Microsoft got involved. And if a deal hasn't been made by tomorrow, I think the stock will take a serious dive next week.

Guess I'll be making a sell order for today.

Chris Boggs Fires Back

OK, knucklehead, let's step out of search world and remember what Microsoft and Yahoo both are that Google isn't: everything online (practically). These are two huge portals that offer tons of value to their visitors beyond a simple little search box.

I'm not dissin' Google here (I use Google for 99.9 percent of my searches), just stating facts. Why sell when Yahoo's repeatedly proven the company can roll with the punches? I've never been enamored of anything MSFT touches (sorry, just being honest), but you could call me a "Yahoo guy."

The first time I used the Internet consistently was in the later '90s when I was on a U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf. My choice then: Yahoo.

Much like my affinity for Coca-Cola, perhaps had I "tasted" MSN first, it may have been a bit different. There's actually a decent Coke vs. Pepsi analogy here. There are plenty of people out there who love each, and the thought of them combining would be rather unpleasant. The idea may seem good from a monetary perspective, and the sheep on Wall Street will continue to speculate.

The biggest danger here, though, is painfully hidden from all these stock gurus: the combination of Yahoo and MSN would destroy two large communities, and could very likely backfire, especially if some new hip site comes along.

So, let's put our search and stock buyer guy hat in the closet for a minute and let Yahoo be. Oh, by the way, as far as that poll that showed very few voters at Google, Yahoo, and MSN voting for McCain -- wonder how many executives they polled?


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