Google & Yahoo: The New VCs?

Two articles out this week cover how Google and Yahoo are duking it out not with each other but instead with venture capital firms to gain promising companies.

Googling For Gold from BusinessWeek starts out what Google might buy when it goes on a "long-awaited shopping spree." Why everyone always assumes that Google must go out and buy lots of things fast, I don't know. Yes, it raised money not too long ago and said this might be used for future acquisitions. But they didn't say they'd have a "spree," nor has Google ever gone on a shopping spree in the many years when many have predicted that they "must" do so.

The story points out that Google's "shown little interest so far in doing big deals with anyone." Interestingly, Google offers up an official comment -- "we're not going to manufacture opportunities solely because of the currency." It then goes on to look at AOL as perhaps shaping up as the key exception to the Google "no big deals" rule.

The article concludes by talking about what apparently was an abortive "Startup Day" where Google was going to have venture capital groups pitch them on making investments. It goes on about all the gripes VCs have and might have with Google for various reasons, such as grabbing startups fast and directly, before VCs get much involved.

Google also comes under fire for being "anti-business people" inside and out, which it denies. Of course, I still haven't heard of non-engineering types at Google getting any of the famed Google 20 percent time to work on whatever they want.

Over from Knight Ridder, Net giants in search of startups step on VC toes covers some of the same VC upset as BusinessWeek details, but this time Yahoo along with Google is also making waves. In particular, it details how Yahoo made a fast snap-up of Oddpost, suprising those who had invested in the company.