Yahoo Makes Deals while Microsoft Hovers

14 February 2008

SUNNY VALE, California: It appears to be business as usual at Yahoo. The web giant has turned its back on Microsoft's unwelcome attentions for long enough to acquire online video advertising firm Maven Networks in a $160 million (€109.6m; £81m) deal. 

New England-based Maven, established five years ago, delivers video and ads for more than 30 major media companies, including Fox News, Sony Pictures and CBS Sports.

Says Cheryl Kellond, Yahoo's senior director of global ad product strategy: "Video is the fastest-growing segment of the online ad market. We expect it to constitute 20% of the online display advertising business in the next three years."

Adds Maven founder and ceo Hilmi Ozguc:
"We are going to continue focusing on the same business we have been pursuing, but we are going to do it on steroids as part of the Yahoo family."    

  • Meantime, the pressure on Yahoo to deal with Microsoft - when the price is right - has been ratcheted up by the online giant's second biggest shareholder, Ben Miller.

    His mutual fund company Legg Mason believes: "It will be hard for Yahoo to come up with alternatives that deliver more value than Microsoft will ultimately be willing to pay."

    Yahoo's board has rejected the software titan's $42.1 billion bid, declaring that it "substantially undervalues" the company. It says other options are being explored.

    However, many analysts expect the deal will eventually be inked, once Microsoft makes a suitably sweet offer.
  • Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK) and Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff