As Yahoo tries to find ways to stop Microsoft from gobbling it up, speculation abounds about the possibility of News Corp. setting up a deal that ostensibly would make all parties involved quite happy.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. could get a 20-plus percent stake in Yahoo and MySpace and other News Corp. properties would be combined with Yahoo to create a mega-online firm.
And while some believe this is a match made in Heaven, I can't seem to grasp exactly why that could be. As far as I'm concerned, this is a match made in hell that will never happen anyway.
Let's face it -- if this deal does go through, what do Yahoo and News Corp. gain? Certainly News Corp. could enjoy the fruits of Jerry Yang's labor and increase its online presence, but what about Yahoo? It gives up a 20 percent stake and has new management to deal with. Whoop dee do.
On the other hand, some say the deal could benefit Yahoo in a very big way -- Microsoft will be left out in the cold. But if you ask me, that logic is faulty and, well, dumb. Microsoft will never be allowed to acquire Yahoo in the first place once regulators get involved and
But I digress. What will this lovely marriage of search and news do for the world? Nothing. Simply put, you'll have people from two distinct cultures going at each other thinking they know what's best for all parties involved. Of course, in the end, neither party knows what we want.
Where Yahoo wants to move more towards open source, Rupert Murdoch and company still won't let you have anything for free. Where Yahoo knows how to increase traffic and keep it there, News Corp. buys social networks and watches as many of its users migrate to the competition. Where Yahoo acquires companies for no reason, News Corp., well, OK, maybe that's the same.
But what most fail to realize here is that News Corp. has no idea how to run a huge and successful online firm. If it sits at the helm of MySpace and can't do anything right, what makes you think it can do something special with Yahoo? Trust me, it can't.
A Yahoo-News Corp. merger would precipitate a revolt from shareholders who would lose out in the deal and create an oddly misguided company that was nothing more than clash of two very different corporate cultures. In fact, if such a merger ever became a reality, I would venture to say that Yahoo would only decline even worse.
Yes, News Corp. really is that bad.