Yang out: Justice scrutiny paved the way

Yang out: Justice scrutiny paved the way

Summary: Some things are clear. If Jerry Yang had merely been doing a lousy job at running Yahoo, there would have been no "mutual" decision that he should step down as CEO.

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Some things are clear. If Jerry Yang had merely been doing a lousy job at running Yahoo, there would have been no "mutual" decision that he should step down as CEO. (NYT: "Jerry and the board have had an ongoing dialogue about succession timing, and we all agree that now is the right time to make the transition to a new C.E.O. who can take the company to the next level,” Roy J. Bostock, Yahoo’s chairman, wrote in a statement.)

No, what's been the subject of ongoing dialogue is Yahoo's stock price since Microsoft told Yang and Yahoo to take their web portal and shove it. Yahoo dismissed an offer of $31 a share and the stock is now trading at $12, and that's up a buck and a half since the announcement. With Yang out of the way, maybe Steve Ballmer would be interested in putting some money on the table. If so, whatever Microsoft offers, Yahoo will take.

But other things are also clear. Yahoo hung its hopes on a deal with Google. That deal died under the poisonous glare of Justice Department scrutiny, scrutiny that Microsoft obtained through massive lobbying.

At News.com, Declan McCullaugh has gathered these numbers: In 2005, Microsoft spent $12 million on lobbyists; in 2006, roughly $14 million; in 2007, a little less, again roughly $14m.

But since early February 2008, when the advertising pact was announced, Microsoft has doubled its lobbying budget: almost $25 million in a nine-month period.

And the Justice Department responded with new-found energy over the Google-Yahoo deal. But since when has the Bush Justice Department frowned on anticompetitive mergers? In 2007 – before Redmond dug deep into its pockets – Justice approved the Google-DoubleClick deal, which really had much more important antitrust implications.

Other deals Justice had no problem with: XM and Sirius; Sprint and Nextel; AT&T and SBC; Verizon and MCI; and AT&T and BellSouth.

Since the new CEO's job will be to simply usher in an agreement with Redmond, I can think of no better candidate than Carl Icahn.

Topics: Banking, Browser, CXO, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, IT Employment, Social Enterprise

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4 comments
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  • lobby dollars or not

    Google has a stranglehold on something extremely vital to our economy and our lives in general which is likely to grow in importance in ways we hardly even comprehend at this stage. They certainly did not need to suck up in any way shape or form one of their two straggling competitors. That was a no brainer. We NEED competition in this arena.

    Sprint/Nextel????
    eggmanbubbagee@...
  • And flying sauces are hidden in area 51

    [i]Google-DoubleClick deal, which really had much more important antitrust implications[/i]

    Not even remotely close.

    [i]But other things are also clear. Yahoo hung its hopes on a deal with Google. That deal died under the poisonous glare of Justice Department scrutiny, scrutiny that Microsoft obtained through massive lobbying.[/i]

    Right, and Google backed away from the deal because of why?
    Because they knew that it would not have a chance of being approved from the begining.

    If Google knew this from the beginging, how come the author here can not?

    Because people will see what they wish to see, that much is true.
    GuidingLight
  • whaaaaat?

    This is ridiculous.

    Doubleclick having a much more important implications?

    And the Sirius/XM thing? They were BOTH going to go under if that deal didn't go through. Last I checked, having 1 supplier of satellite radio is better than none, no?

    The other examples are equally absurd. Clearly this author has an axe to grind with Microsoft and/or Bush. However, no impartial observer could take a look at that deal and say that it didn't have significant anticompetitive implications for the industry.
    wcp14
  • Bush and the GOP took Microsoft money....

    Ashcroft's settlement of Reno's conviction of Microsoft as "an abusive monopoly" was quite generous, in return for which Bill Gates imitated a potted plant at Bush speeches and press conferences for years.
    epcraig