Is Microsoft the Next Jay-Z?

By Tony Clark, 2-Dooz Inc. – February 11, 2013 (Original Publication Date)

In the song “Single Ladies,” Beyonce admonishes a slow on the trigger suitor, “If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it;” a widely assumed not so subtle “I told you so” to Jay-Z.  

Beyonce is hardly the first to use this approach.  This is a well known, tried and true strategy for getting a reluctant man to finally tie the knot. 

Now, a little more than four years after great speculation regarding a possible marriage between Yahoo! and Microsoft, which resulted in two proposals but no merger, Yahoo! may be telling Microsoft, with the announcement of a new arrangement with Google, that if Microsoft had liked it then they should have put a “bigger” ring on it. 

Recall that in February 2008, Microsoft formally proposed to Yahoo! by offering the company $31 dollars per share.   Yahoo! rejected the offer in an attempt to obtain a greater premium.  Months later, in December of 2008, after a precipitous fall in Yahoo’s stock price, Microsoft revised the proposal to substantially less at $16.60 per share.  Ultimately, the marriage was called off, with the companies agreeing to date, albeit not exclusively. 

Last week, Yahoo! announced, “[W]e recently signed a global, non-exclusive agreement with Google to display ads on various Yahoo! properties and certain co-branded sites using Google’s AdSense for Content and Google’s AdMob services.  By adding Google to our list of world-class contextual ads partners, we’ll be able to expand our network, which means we can serve users with ads that are even more meaningful.”

Although clear speculation on my part, the message to Microsoft from Yahoo! is as clear as the message was from Beyonce to Jay-Z.  Jay-Z was ultimately moved to marriage.  Let’s see if Microsoft pulls a Jay-Z by offering Yahoo! a much bigger ring this time.

Those are my thoughts.  And, as always, I invite and look forward to learning what you think.

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