Mondo media

So two more mondo media deals are simmering: Reuters said it has had an offer; there’s speculation that Thomson is the suitor and even speculation about Google (but I don’t see them buying a content business). And Yahoo and Microsoft — whose media strategies have both tripped and stumbled in the race with Google — say they’re thinking about lashing up or possibly merging again.

Now’s the time to jump. Murdoch’s bid for Dow Jones raises depressed media prices and a bidding war for one company or another could raise them further. So if there’s a strategic prize to get, it’s time to go courting. I don’t think we’ll see any overall buying binge in media; too much of the sector is just too troubled. But I do think we’ll see smart strategic combinations. Dow Jones and Reuters both have competence and brands in data and this is the age of data. In the right combinations, they become more valuable.

As for the Yahoo/Microsoft combination, I see that as Yahoo trying to surrender and go hide under Gates’ skirt. In some ways, it’s like Time Warner being bought by AOL; I said at the time it was their admission they didn’t have an internet strategy so it went to buy — or be bought by — one. I don’t see what Microsoft bring to Yahoo or vice versa in strategic terms. Oh, there’ll be lots of chatter about synergy but I wouldn’t bet my lunch money on it.

  • If the Microsoft-Yahoo! deal happens I would love to see how it will be structured. Will Yahoo! be absorbed into Microsoft or will they retain their identities? I would imagine that each would retain its identity and branding although they would be working a heck of a lot closer together. Would there then be a sort of arms race? Will Google go out and buy someone?

  • shawnpetriw

    Doesn’t Microsoft have enough on its plate? How are they going to handle even more confusion and distraction. They can’t strategize their way out of a paper bag. Everything they do (except for Windows and Office, monopolies created a decade ago) loose money.

    I invite everyone to read this roughly drafted piece and then imagine what happens should MicroHoo happen.

  • Jeff:
    You always minimize the implications that consolidation has on the free flow of information.

    Treating the (news) media as part of the entertainment industry or as just a business to make a profit from ignores its crucial role in keeping a democracy functioning. Recent events should be a reminder as to what sorts of mischief can happen when the media fails to do an adequate job of reporting and questioning those in power.

    This goes beyond the obvious stories like the run up to the war in Iraq, but includes the poor reporting in the business press that gave us Enron and its fellows as well as the distortions in health and environment stories starting with the rise in HIV, bird flu and SARS through climate change.

    I know you have great faith in “the people”, but 99% of online material is derived from traditional sources like daily newspapers and wire services. Others just don’t have the resources, access or time to dig for stories.

    Until the online media matures to where it can actually take the place of print and broadcast as a primary news source consolidation can only be bad for democracy and the free flow of information.

  • What I liked best was Reuters writing a news story about the offer for their company, and then reporting in the story who it is rumored to be!

    We covered that article today.

    Not an easy situation, I’m sure, to be in if you are the reporter doing that story for Reuters!

  • Also, under “things are getting crazy all over”, Drudge Report links to exclusive that Microsoft moving closer to purchasing Yahoo!. How that would rework the landscape!!

  • The big picture is that we are seeing the war of the titans in tech. Keys to Micrsoft have always been: developers, the operating system, corporations/users. Now with the net as the operating system Micrsoft will be porting their developer community over to software/media as a service, the net is the OS, and yahoo has millions and millions of users (internet buyers)

  • Pingback: Will Microsoft buy Yahoo? Stay tuned for the battle of the Titans is on « PodTech Network()

  • When I was a real estate developer, pillaging the landscape and reaping the rewards, we had a saying:

    “When considering a deal, remember that changing the name on the deed leaves the underlying weaknesses intact.”