Google's Real Goal: Messing with Microsoft

By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2008-02-04 Print this article Print

Oh, you might think that Google actually wants to help Yahoo, but what it really wants to do is to mess with Microsoft's head. 

The shoe's on the other foot. Microsoft has made a multi-billion dollar business from FUDing its competition, now Google is enjoying its chance to see how Microsoft likes the same treatment by objecting to its proposed purchase of Yahoo.

It took Google less than a weekend to respond to Microsoft's offer for Yahoo. By February 3rd, Google senior vice president of development and chief legal officer, David Drummond, had said, "Microsoft's hostile bid for Yahoo raises troubling questions."

Hostile? A bid of $44.6 billion, or $31 a share, a 62 percent premium on Yahoo's share price, which was at a four-year low, is hostile? Wow. Give me a hostile takeover any day then.

Yahoo, in case, you've forgotten was a company in trouble. Heck. Yahoo is a company in trouble. Were I a Yahoo stockholder I'd be overjoyed that someone wants to waste-er, buy-my Yahoo stock for a 62 percent premium.

Besides if Microsoft really did start fighting for control of Yahoo, it would have to contend with a Yahoo poison pill defense. As it is, it looks like Microsoft will have to borrow money to buy Yahoo. If Yahoo pops the pill, it would have to borrow even more billions to pull the deal off.

I'm sure that Microsoft-Microsoft of all companies!-going into multi-billion debt would break Google's heart.

There are also stories floating about that Google might help Yahoo against Microsoft. The only thing I can think about these reports is that it's an attempt to force Microsoft to pay even more for Yahoo.

I mean, come on, there's no way even under George W. Bush that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) would ever approve of Google buying Yahoo. One analyst even goes so far as to say that Yahoo's shares are actually worth upward of $39 to $45 a share.

I'm editor-at-large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. That's a fancy title that means I write about whatever topic strikes my fancy or needs written about across the Ziff Davis Enterprise family of publications. You'll find most of my stories in Linux-Watch, DesktopLinux and eWEEK. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, I worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects.

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