Microsoft-Yahoo: whither the boatloads?
Disappointed investors voted with their feet initially when the Microsoft-Yahoo deal, announced in the early hours of Wednesday, came with reams of detail on search, revenue-sharing, technology and advertising tie-ups — but no anticipated upfront payment, which some had put at around $1 billion. Yahoo prompty lost about a 10th of its market value.
“This agreement comes with boatloads of value for Yahoo, our users, and the industry, and I believe it establishes the foundation for a new era of Internet innovation and development,” Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz said in a press statement released jointly with Microsoft on Wednesday.
Back in May, Bartz said her company would be open to any deal with “boatloads of money” and the right technology. Microsoft is indeed cash-rich, but the market might be wondering why shareholders won’t immediately see much from its coffers.
Asked what had happened to the boatloads of money on a conference call for investors and media, Bartz appeared to go on the defensive.
“What was really important to Yahoo is that we had a deal that flowed successfully through our P&L. Having a big cash payment upfront doesn’t really help us from an operating standpoint,” Bartz responded, before launching into an explanation of traffic acquisition costs, expense lines and investing in the business.
“So listen, it’s easier to talk about boatloads of cash and value because you guys understand that. But as far as we’re concerned the boatload of cash is us preserving our revenue line.”