• 23 Jun 2008 at 11:38 AM
  • Yahoo

Yahoo Ad Serving Technology: Fail!

carlin.JPGThose mourning the loss of racy comedian George Carlin this morning will be glad to know that it’s not too late to get tickets to Carlin’s “Live comedy,” according to Yahoo.
Okay, you can’t really catch Carlin live anymore. But this morning Yahoo pages carried the awkward juxtaposition of the news of Carlin’s death with advertisements to “Save on tickets for Carlin’s live comedy.” Well, yes. We’re sure those tickets are very cheap now.
(Click image for larger version.)

Mircosoft Can’t Compete Without Yahoo, Carl Icahn Says

Carl Icahn said Tuesday that Microsoft Corp needs Yahoo to be competitive with Google over the next five years.
“They can’t compete” if the company doesn’t acquire Yahoo, he said at the annual New York Financial Writers Association Awards Dinner at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.
Icahn cited Google’s incursions into core Microsoft businesses such as word processing and spreadsheet applications. Microsoft’s Word and Excel have dominated this area for years. Google recently launched its own versions of these products, giving them away free on its website.
“Microsoft needs this company,” Icahn said. “They have to be on the internet if they’re going to compete with Google. These applications are all going online.”
Icahn owns 10 million shares of Yahoo, and has put up his own slate of directors to replace Yahoo’s board. He wants the company to rethink it’s resistance to being acquired by Microsoft, which withdrew a bid for the company earlier this year saying Yahoo was not cooperating.

Icahn Wants Yang’s Head On A Platter

Carl Icahn said today that he will seek to oust Jerry Yang as Yahoo’s CEO if he wins his proxy fight bid to control the company’s board. Was this every in doubt?
What seems to have really annoyed Icahn is information released when a Delaware judge unsealed a shareholder suit against Yahoo. The unsealed pleadings revealed that even as Yahoo was claiming to consider the Microsoft bid, it adopted an expensive an employee-severance plan that Icahn is characterizing as an underhanded poison pill meant to scuttle the deal.
“It’s no longer a mystery to me why Microsoft’s offer isn’t around,” Icahn says in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “How can Yahoo keep saying they’re willing to negotiate and sell the company on the one hand, while at the same time they’re completely sabotaging the process without telling anyone?”
In other news, the Yahoo board is scheduled to meet today.
Icahn Steps Up Yahoo Attack, Seeks Yang’s Ouster as CEO [Wall Street Journal]

  • 02 Jun 2008 at 4:49 PM
  • Yahoo

Yahoo Loses Bid To Keep Cop Shareholder Suit Secret

Yahoo’s shareholder troubles don’t end with the proxy fight started by Carl Icahn. A Delaware court today unsealed a complaint filed by Yahoo shareholders against the company over its alleged bungling of Microsoft bid to buy the company.
Yahoo had sought to keep the lawsuit under seal. It was originally filed by the Police & Fire Retirement System and the General Retirement System of the city of Detroit in February. The company claimed it contained sensitive information. Today the court smacked down that contention.
Yahoo shareholder suit unsealed in Delaware [MarketWatch]

Icahn Gets Green Light For Yahoo Stock Purchase

Carl Icahn got the go ahead from the Federal Trade Commission to scoop up huge amounts of Yahoo stock. Icahn owns around 10 million Yahoo shares now, and has options to acquire another 49 million. He said he’s seeking clearance from the FTC to buy up to $2.5 billion of the stock.
In our not-so-free market, you need the FTC’s approval to make stock purchases worth $63 million or more.
In other news, we just noticed that Jerry Yang and Steve Ballmer apparently played golf together last weekend. They may or may not have chatted about a deal but probably not the straight-up acquisition that Icahn wants. Icahn, of course, hates executives who play golf. Is there any chance that Ballmer and Yang arranged the meeting over golf to piss off Icahn?
Icahn gets antitrust go-ahead for Yahoo stock buy [Yahoo–heh]

Miller Backs Microsoft Buyout Of Yahoo

Bill Miller, the Legg Mason fund manager who controls 5.4 percent of Yahoo, wants to see Microsoft buy the company. Halfway measures–such as a joint venture –don’t interest him.
That would seem to put him squarely in Icahn’s camp. But Miller’s still being coy, saying he’s undecided on how he’ll vote in the proxy fight.

Legg’s Miller undecided on Icahn’s Yahoo slate

  • 21 May 2008 at 4:30 PM
  • Buyouts

Microsoft Still Says It Doesn’t Want To Buy Yahoo Anymore

So Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer says the company is not looking to buy Yahoo. They’re talking about other stuff that might “create value” or some such. It’s pretty much what we learned on Sunday, when Microsoft and Yahoo disclosed that they were in negotiations.
Is a buyout really off the table? The market doesn’t seem to think so. Shares are down a bit today but not by what you’d expect them to drop if the buyout was really done. Perhaps Ballmer is just sticking to the script, playing hardball to get a better price for Yahoo.
Still, this can’t make Carl Icahn and the rest of his hedge fund cohort happy. (Then again, he’s still up about $120 million, which would keep us happy.)
Microsoft Not Bidding to Buy Yahoo: CEO Ballmer [Reuters via ABC News]

Third Point LLC, the $5.7 billion hedge fund run by acid penned yoga enthusiast Dan Loeb, is getting into the Yahoo acquisition trade, Reuter’s great Dane Hamilton is reporting. The fund has accumulated a stake of over 5 million shares, and may build a 10 million share stake. At the end of March, Third Point held only 1 million shares.
Texas oil legend T. Boone Pickens revealed this morning that he owns 10 million Yahoo, and plans to vote them in support of Carl Icahn. Paulson & Co, another large hedge fund that is bursting with funds after making a killing last year shorting subprime, disclosed last week that it holds 50 million shares and is supporting the Icahn move. Capital Research owns 85 million shares and Legg-Mason owns 83 million. Both are thought to favor a deal to sell Yahoo to Microsoft.
Third Point backs Icahn in Yahoo fight [Yahoo]