WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: Internet giants in new web war

The heavyweight merger tussle between Microsoft and Yahoo had a new entrant this week with Rupert Murdoch apparently mulling over a 'white knight' deal that would see Newscorp's MySpace merged with Yahoo in return for 20 per cent ownership.

A number of Yahoo's shareholders are keen to take the Microsoft dollar, albeit at a higher offer. But founder Jerry Yang, who returned to head the troubled company eight months ago, is 'loath to hand his baby to Bill Gates' Microsoft' (The Daily Telegraph, 15 February).

The bid offers Microsoft a 'last chance' (The Guardian, 15 February) to challenge Google's current dominance of internet advertising revenue, but even its own shareholders are far from convinced on the grounds that 'taking on Yahoo would be a big distraction for Microsoft' (The Observer, 17 February).

The manoeuvring between the internet giants could herald a 'potentially decisive phase of consolidation for the dotcom industry' (The Sunday Telegraph, 17 February).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.


Whilst individual papers came down on a particular side of the fence, the blogosphere was full of paradoxes on the Microsoft-Yahoo-Newscorp ‘love/hate' triangle. Many felt that Newscorp is already bigger than is good for the American public so an alliance with Yahoo would be even more worrying. Yet these same bloggers seemed to welcome Yahoo merging with the giant that is Microsoft.

It seems that bloggers couldn't decide on who the best anti-hero to come riding to Yahoo's rescue would be. AOL seemed to be a favourite, simply because bloggers couldn't see who was in charge of the horse, unlike the recognisable gunslingers that are Gates and Murdoch. However, Gates seemed to be the less of these two evils, so to speak.

The papers had a surprising lack of debate about what the new company might be called - but not so the bloggers. Debates abounded as to what sounded better - "Microsoft Yahoo", "Newscorp Yahoo", "Microhoo", "Yasoft" or many others. Bloggers wondered whether Rupert Murdoch would consider turning the little ‘c' in Newscorp to a capital ‘C', or even giving the little ‘d' in Murdoch the same treatment as befits the true Internet way.

Sourced from over 70 million blogs by Nielsen Online www.nielsen-online.com


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