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Fearing Microsoft, Yahoo courts Rupert Murdoch

It's kind of like if you ask a girl to marry you and she says she'd rather be with Voldemort.


Farhad Manjoo
February 14, 2008 11:13PM (UTC)

World Economic Forum

Rupert Murdoch

Apparently having Rupert Murdoch as your boss doesn't improve your chances of learning his secrets. Two days ago Silicon Alley Insider, Henry Blodget's tech blog, broke news of Murdoch's talks with Yahoo over a deal to avert Microsoft's hostile takeover, and yesterday TechCrunch, Mike Arrington's tech blog, confirmed the story, adding significant details.

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Several hours passed before the Wall Street Journal -- which Murdoch now owns -- finally reported that its boss was, in fact, working out a complex deal in which he would turn News Corp.'s Web properties over to Yahoo in return for a 20 percent stake in the company.

Such a deal would leave Murdoch's News Corp. as the largest shareholder in Yahoo, giving him substantial control over the firm. The combined company, which would include Murdoch's MySpace, would be a Web behemoth, earning 150 billion page views a month (which is still behind Google, and about what this blog does on a slow day, but still, you know, ain't too bad.)

Pause here for a second to consider the poor besieged once-great Web portal known as Yahoo: So abhorred is this firm at the prospect of being snapped up by Microsoft for a mere $44 billion that it would rather pimp itself out to genocidal tyrant Ruper Murdoch instead.

How bad must you feel if you were Microsoft? It's kind of like if you ask a girl to marry you and she says she'd rather be with Voldemort.

Prospects for the deal look dim; News Corp. insiders are saying it's unlikely to happen. Yahoo's best shot here is to create the suggestion of a rival to Microsoft, thereby forcing MS to raise its bid.

Hey, who says Rupert can't be a friend?

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Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

MORE FROM Farhad Manjoo

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