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Posts Tagged ‘Yahoo’

Yahoo BOSS gives partners subject-specific search

Posted by comtech3 on November 28, 2008

November 26, 2008 9:00 AM PST

Yahoo has begun offering a new variety of its BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) called vertical lens technology that lets partners show a subset of search results relating to a particular area.

BOSS lets people repackage, reorder, blend, and otherwise change Yahoo’s search results; academics and smaller sites may do so for free, but larger ones must show Yahoo search ads or sign a deal with Yahoo to share revenue. The vertical lens technology lets partners “create a truly comprehensive vertical search engine that complements their core user experience,” according to Yahoo.

So far, only some partners can use the vertical lens technology. TechCrunch is one, using the vertical version of BOSS to show technology-related search results. “We’re working to share the technology more openly through the BOSS API,” or application programming interface, Yahoo said.

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What if Apple built a search engine?

Posted by comtech3 on November 14, 2008

November 13, 2008 11:18 AM PST

Posted by Don Reisinger

is reporting today that it has heard some rumblings about the possibility of Apple developing a search engine to compete with Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. According to the publication, it believes that Apple’s reason for doing so is its desire to find another avenue of monetization for all the traffic it can capture through its Safari browser and elsewhere across the Web.

But after some digging, TechCrunch found that the chances of Apple working on a search engine in secret right now are relatively low and the Silicon Valley has heard little about the possibility of Apple turning to another sector in the industry.

I don’t think there’s any debating that the rumors are false and the very idea that Apple will develop a search engine sounds ridiculous. Apple’s current strategy is tied to its hardware and there’s no reason for the company to jump into another market.

But now that we’ve rejected the notion of Apple developing a search engine, why not explore it a bit more? What if Apple developed a search engine? Would it lead to bigger and better things or prove to be the company’s downfall? Would it captivate consumers the way it does with its hardware or fall flat on its face?

The possibility is just a bit too delicious to pass up.

If Apple developed a search engine, I don’t think there’s any doubting that the company would have its sights set firmly on Microsoft. Sure, Google is still the leader in the market and maybe Apple should be focusing its attention there, but let’s face it–Apple and any other company in the space won’t be able to catch Google no matter how useful its search engine is. Why? Because Google was the first to understand that success in the market means getting rid of you and since so many people have found that experience through Google, there’s really no reason to switch.

But when it comes to building a search engine (remember, we’re assuming Apple is in this example), Steve Jobs would love to focus all his attention on Microsoft. You remember Microsoft, right? It’s the company that beat Apple in the software space years ago and the main reason why Steve Jobs isn’t as rich as Bill Gates today. But more importantly, Apple’s Safari browser has always tried to one-up Internet Explorer and there’s no reason to suggest Apple Search wouldn’t try to do the same to Live.

Now that we know Apple’s competitor, what is its motivation for developing a search engine? At its lowest level, it’s cash. But what if Apple’s search engine is just a precursor to its desire to break into the online world in a big way? Maybe a search engine will allow Apple to make the case to shareholders that diving into the online world with all that extra cash it has hanging around really is worth it.

But then again, success in the search engine space will be required in order for Steve Jobs to get the go-ahead to expand online. And if Microsoft has taught us anything, tens of billions of dollars isn’t enough to be successful in search.

The possibilities for Apple are endless and the reasons for breaking into the search engine market are numerous. And although most us can probably agree that Apple will never release a search engine, I think the case can be made quite easily that if it’s serious about the online world and it wants to put even more pressure on Microsoft, developing an outstanding search engine that goes above and beyond the scope already offered from Live might be a good place to start.

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Yahoo investor: Sell to Microsoft for $22 a share

Posted by comtech3 on October 10, 2008

October 9, 2008 10:22 PM PDT

Posted by Michelle Meyers

As Yahoo stock reaches new lows, it appears a private equity fund that owns a small percentage of Yahoo’s stock has proposed a new deal for selling the company to Microsoft.

Mithras Capital Partners, which reportedly owns more than 1.9 million shares, or .14 percent of Yahoo, suggested a new deal Thursday to sell the company to Microsoft for $22 a share, a 74 percent premium on Yahoo’s current stock price, Reuters reported. A Mithras Capital partner plans to send a letter proposing the deal to Microsoft and Yahoo Thursday night, Reuters said.

Under the deal, the software giant “would unload Yahoo’s Asian assets and non-search businesses, extract $3 billion worth of cost savings, and receive $2.8 billion of tax benefits,” Reuters said. In other words, the software giant would pay $10.3 billion for Yahoo’s search business.

In May, Microsoft walked away from its buyout offer of $47.5 billion to snap up all of Yahoo, only later to return with a partial buyout offer of $9 billion to acquire just the company’s search assets.

The Internet company on Thursday dipped for the first time into the $12-a-share range, ending the day at $12.65. That followed Wednesday’s crossing into the $13-a-share range. Analysts have noted that these crossings into new dollar ranges are psychological landmarks for investors.

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Yahoo rejects joint-bid for search business by Icahn and Microsoft

Posted by comtech3 on July 14, 2008

July 12, 2008 10:49 PM PDT

Yahoo announced Saturday night that it rejected a joint-buyout proposal that Microsoft and investor activist Carl Icahn offered the night before, which called for a “complex restructuring” and sale of Yahoo’s search business to Microsoft.

The joint proposal, issued Friday night, gave Yahoo a 24-hour turnaround to accept or reject the renewed offer. It called for Microsoft to buy the search business and Yahoo to swap out its board members for Icahn’s dissident slate, who would then have control in running the remainder of Yahoo’s businesses.

Microsoft did not have an immediate comment Sunday morning.

Yahoo’s board, after consulting with its legal and financial advisers, rejected the offer Saturday night based on a number of factors, including:

Yahoo’s existing business plus its recently signed commercial agreement with Google has superior financial value and less complexity and risk than the Microsoft/Icahn proposal.

The Microsoft/Icahn proposal would preclude a potential sale of all of Yahoo for a full and fair price, including a control premium.

The major component of the overall value per share asserted by Microsoft/Icahn would be in Yahoo’s remaining non-search businesses which would be overseen by Mr. Icahn’s slate of directors, which has virtually no working knowledge of Yahoo’s businesses.

The Microsoft/Icahn proposal would require the immediate replacement of the current Board and removal of the top management team at Yahoo. The Yahoo Board believes these moves would destabilize Yahoo for the up to the one year it would take to gain regulatory approval for this deal.

Yahoo said in rejecting the offer it told Microsoft it was willing to sell the entire company for at least $33 a share and its board believed such a deal could be negotiated and executed before its annual shareholders meeting on August 1. Yahoo said it also informed the software giant it remained willing to negotiate an “improved search only transaction.”

Microsoft, however, rejected both offers, Yahoo stated.

Yahoo did not disclose the financial terms that Microsoft and Icahn were willing to offer in the proposal.

Icahn, which is running a proxy fight against the Internet search pioneer to unseat its board at its annual shareholders meeting, delivered the proposal to the search pioneer.

And although Yahoo’s board “acknowledges that the current proposal contains a number of improvements over Microsoft’s earlier proposal,” the Yahoo board’s believed this latest proposal is not in its shareholders best interests. It cited these issues:

The revenue guarantees suggested, which are conditional and subject to reduction, are well below the search revenue that the company is expected to generate on its own and in association with its announced commercial agreement with Google. That agreement alone is estimated to generate $250 to $450 million of incremental cash flow for the first twelve months following implementation, while allowing Yahoo to remain a principal in paid search.

The success of the remaining company is critically dependent on Microsoft’s ability to effectively monetize search.

Microsoft/Icahn’s proposed Traffic Acquisition Costs rates are below market.

The proposal calls for Yahoo to sell its industry-leading algorithmic search business and its related strategic and valuable intellectual property portfolio for no incremental consideration.

Many of the components of the headline value that Mr. Icahn and Microsoft put forward, such as the spin-off of the Yahoo’s Asian assets and the return of cash to stockholders, are steps that could be taken by Yahoo on its own and the board continues to evaluate these options.

Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock characterized the efforts by Microsoft and Icahn as “erratic and unpredictable” and said that it would be “absurd and irresponsible” for the Internet search company to engage in a complex deal that would remove half of its business and do it without Microsoft dealing directly with the company’s management.

“Microsoft and Mr. Icahn are trying to dismantle the company and deliver our search business to Microsoft on terms that would be disadvantageous to Yahoo stockholders. We are prepared to let our stockholders, not Microsoft and Carl Icahn, decide what is in their best interests and we look forward to the upcoming (shareholders) vote,” Bostock said.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft initiated discussions with Yahoo:

The proposal came together in recent days. Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith initiated the talks with a phone call to Ron Olson, the lawyer for Yahoo’s independent directors a few days ago, according to a person familiar with the matter. Subsequently, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Mr. Icahn and Roy Bostock, Yahoo’s chairman, discussed the proposal over several phone calls, this person said.

That move apparently came despite a statement by Microsoft on Monday that it “concluded” it could not reach agreement with Yahoo’s board and it would be interested in discussing either a search only acquisition, or purchase of all of Yahoo, with a new board.

And on Friday evening, according to a report in The New York Times, Icahn and Ballmer made their proposal. The Times further notes Yahoo’s board and advisers discussed it in a meeting that lasted between four to five hours.

Microsoft’s sweetened search buyout offer, a concept CNET News first reported on three weeks ago that the software giant was considering, showed improvements over its initial search offer to Yahoo that was worth $9 billion.

One improvement, according the Wall Street Journal, included revenue guarantees that would span five years, compared with its previous offer of three years.

Posted by Dawn Kawamoto
CNET NEWS.com

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