Yahoo and Microsoft merger rumors are heating up again as Yahoo board members were reportedly at the table again yesterday, discussing a partnership between Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing Search Technology. It feels like it has been years since the Yahoo Microsoft search rumors started heating up, and over that time Yahoo has been stripped down more of an efficient content & search driven entity, while Microsoft has vastly improved its internal search technology with the launch of Bing.
Coupled with recent news of a 17% Microsoft plunge in sales last quarter, which will assist Yahoo’s leverage in these negotiations, perhaps the time for a merger or partnership is now.
Via paidContent :
The 13 percent drop in the company’s online services division was driven by a 14 percent drop in online advertising sales largely due to weakness in display ads, executives said. Search revenue, however, was flat compared to a year ago and page views were up.
One interesting change in events is Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz changing her stance on Microsoft Search, in a statement which may foreshadow a new deal between the two companies :
“I actually think Bing is a good product. I think they’ve done a good job, but unfortunately they are only a month into it. I think Microsoft should be given kudos for Bing.”
This statement by Bartz is a bit different than her statement on Bing from only a month ago (via Ars) :
“I don’t know if Bing means a whole lot to Yahoo. I think people will go to Bing because they are curious. I think they will get some uplift, but people will keep their same habits.”
Sounds like a bit of a political change of mindset to me. Will these kind words from Bartz help open up more dialog between Yahoo and Microsoft? That decision is ultimately up to Yahoo, but with concerns over the legality of a partnership, or rather if the partnership will be held up by regulators, may slow down such a decision.