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Yahoo acquires Maven; Microsoft hubbub affects perception

Yahoo on Tuesday said it has acquired Maven Networks, a video publisher, for $160 million.The deal was expected and had been rumored on numerous blogs a few weeks ago.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Yahoo on Tuesday said it has acquired Maven Networks, a video publisher, for $160 million.

The deal was expected and had been rumored on numerous blogs a few weeks ago.

According to Yahoo's statement, Maven will allow the portal to provide "state-of-the-art consumer video and advertising experiences." Yahoo plans to use Maven to monetize its massive video library of licensed content from major networks. Yahoo added that it plans to invest in Maven's growth and expand the business.

All of that sounds just swell, but my reaction from the minute I saw the headline was: How will Maven fit in with Microsoft?

If I'm any indicator Yahoo may have some problems on its hands. Any acquisition, initiative, new plan, new long-term advertising agreement and Jerry Yang speech will be put through the integration wringer. Yes, I know Yahoo has rejected Microsoft. Microsoft for its part has fired back. But when all the dealing is done Yahoo is likely to be part of Microsoft.

So where does Maven fit in? If you're Maven executives and early investors you take the dough and worry about the details later. To me, Maven looks like just one more thing to integrate in a big pile of stuff that would be Microhoo.

Perhaps Yahoo can proceed as business as usual. But it's not business as usual when Microsoft is breathing down your neck. And anything Yahoo does--including today's search partnership with T-Mobile--is going to be viewed through a Microsoft prism.

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