AP has a good article on the long-delayed Microsoft-Yahoo search agreement. (Great title on Yahoo Tech: “Microsoft, Yahoo team up to ding Google with Bing.”)
Yahoo gets no up front cash, but gains incremental revenue and reduces search R&D. (It’s not clear if the claimed $500m increasing in operating profit includes the R&D cuts).
Many commentators say Microsoft got the better end of the deal. Perhaps the most colorful analysis comes from Jason Calacanis, founder of Silicon Alley Reporter in his Business Week column:
Yahoo committed seppuku today.(Of course, the bigger mistake was helping Google get established in the first place).
The once-proud warrior of the Internet space laid down its sword, knelt at the feet of Microsoft, and gutted itself today. There was no honor in this death: It was brought about by the shame of losing to Google and a lack of faith in its ability to compete in the space it created. To be clear, Yahoo didn't need to do this deal; Microsoft did. Ultimately Yahoo will look back at this moment as the second—and perhaps fatal—mistake in its epic history.
Clearly Yahoo’s bargaining power and stock price are far lower than when it turned down Microsoft’s various acquisition offers. He who hesitates is last (and lost). In this case, Carol Bartz is paying the price of the indecision of her predecessors, both Jerry Yang and Terry Semel.