Microsoft’s Offer To Buy Yahoo For $44.6 Billion is likely to turn in large part on whether the founders, who still hold a great deal of stock, go with their investors who want to take the money and run. I’m betting they will, reluctantly, though I still believe Yahoo could have a great future as a stand-alone company. More than almost any other Web company, Yahoo understands aggregation and the best of bottom-up media. Microsoft barely has a clue.
But Google is getting pretty worrisome in its own way — too big and powerful to trust. We need large and small counterweights, and perhaps a Microsoft-Yahoo combination will be one of them.
It’s worth noting, meanwhile, that the offer of slightly less than $45 billion isn’t much higher than ExxonMobil’s 2007 profits. The juxtaposition in today’s NY Times, below, is pretty startling.