The waiting game continues for Microsoft as Yahoo! buys more time. As I’m sure you all know, Microsoft made a $44.6 billion bid to merge with Yahoo! on February 1, which was rejected. The deadline for Yahoo! to return to the negotiating table with Microsoft was March 14, which came and went as Yahoo! managed to postpone, for 10 days after their annual shareholder’s meeting, the replacement of the ten directors that rejected Microsoft’s offer. This annual shareholder’s meeting has not yet been scheduled and could be held as late as July 12, 2008.
Microsoft proposed this merger with Yahoo! in the interest of Yahoo!’s shareholders. In his letter to Yahoo!’s Board of Directors, Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation, stated: “the combined company will be better positioned to provide an enhanced value proposition to users and advertisers.” He also explained that “the market is increasingly dominated by one player who is consolidating its dominance through acquisition. Together, Microsoft and Yahoo! can offer a credible alternative for consumers, advertisers, and publishers.” Microsoft appears to be acknowledging Google’s dominance in the search market advertising field, but also that they want their fair share of the pie, and they aren’t going out quietly.
Although it is a privilege to advertise with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft (MSN), from dealing with all three on a regular basis, it is clear why Google seems to be the industry leader in campaign development for search market advertising. In one downloadable campaign management application – Google’s AdWords Editor – campaign development and management are made immensely more convenient. This tool allows you to navigate through your campaign, bulk post, copy and paste all aspects of it, and upload changes easily and quickly. It’s a little like comparing a Betamax and a DVD player. Making changes and uploading campaigns in Yahoo! and Microsoft is a slow and tedious process, while in Google it is a breeze.
The possible merging of Microsoft and Yahoo! to “offer a credible alternative for consumers, advertisers, and publishers” may be just what the users and advertisers need. If this merge actually happens between the two companies, it will hopefully improve their services rather than impair them. The “two heads are better than one” mentality seems to be a step in the right direction, but only time will tell.