Microsoft and Yahoo! talk merger – opinion roundup

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Here are some breaking views on the reported merger between Yahoo and and Microsoft today:

WSJ: "A year ago, Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. explored the idea of combining to form a greater competitor to Google Inc. The talks led nowhere leaving Microsoft and Yahoo to forge their own paths in pursuit of Google. How did they do? Well, they're talking again."

The Times: "Shares in Yahoo! jumped 18 per cent in pre-market trade in New York today on reports that Microsoft is once again weighing a bid for the embattled internet giant and has asked for formal talks to be renewed."

ZDNet: "Let's connect the dots on how this story developed. As Mary Jo Foley reported yesterday Microsoft is trying to transform into an advertising company. Meanwhile, Foley also noted that Yahoo Terry Semel is speaking at a Microsoft-run advertiser confab. Those dots are pretty easy to connect–both dots are the size of the moon. With those two items, all you have to do is regurgitate some old rumors, find a banker to speculate, toss in some background and poof you have a story."

Mashable: "Where’s the synergy? Yahoo has had much more success on the web than Microsoft, and Google increasingly looks to challenge Microsoft with online office apps. There’s search, too: the two companies combined would command 27% of the search market against Google’s 65%. And of course there’s advertising, where Google is also dominant and Yahoo is building out Panama."

UPDATE: Later in the day it emerged both firms were coming around to the idea that they were better off as partners rather than merging, and that they would actually end up with less users after a merger. No kidding.

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