Who Will Buy Yahoo?
Google may be considering the acquisition of Yahoo, based on its contact with two buyout firms that have been stalking Yahoo since the firing of its latest CEO. It’s possible, however, that such a purchase by Google would lead to retaliation by the U.S. Justice Department, as Google’s 2008 advertising partnership with Yahoo did. Some suggest Microsoft should be the buyer, even though CEO Steve Ballmer was relieved Yahoo rejected its last $50 billion takeover offer, because Yahoo! subsequently slipped in value by roughly two-thirds. There is even a Chinese company, Alibaba Group, interested in buying Yahoo. It’s impossible to predict who might buy Yahoo, but whoever does will be motivated mainly by its advertising revenue and audience of 700 million users.
Google Docs Vs. Microsoft Office and Office 365
Choosing between Google’s pared down online version of Microsoft Office and the original used to be an easy choice. Either you needed quick and easy collaboration more than you needed all the deepest Office features, so you went with Google, or you didn’t. But now, Office 365 lives in the cloud. If Facebook ever further develops its Notes, we could see a third competitor in this space.
Facebook Vs. Google
This is the Frazier versus Ali size fight over the soul of Internet users. As you may have noticed in Figure 1, these two receive the most Internet traffic and, in that respect, are neck and neck. Facebook’s advertising revenue growth has been dramatic. The biggest question for the future is whether people will switch any of their Google time or activity to Facebook. Sometimes, for example, people ask their friends for recommendations rather than query a search engine. Also, much of Facebook advertising is keyed on people’s affinities, and advertisers may capture mindshare ahead of need.
Because much of the e-commerce that begins with Google is based in research or price comparison, Facebook marketing and increasing fan affinities could reduce the overall need for such activities. In other words, you’ll know what you want from which company before you really need it, and you won’t need to search Google for it.