Those of you who missed him in Morocco caught up with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in Milan after Yahoo reported better than expected results, even though they fell short of stellar.
We weren’t expecting huge surprises during Yahoo’s earnings conference call, but CEO Jerry Yang was spectacularly vague about the Internet company’s plans vis-a-vis Microsoft or any other potential tie-ups — with Google, Time Warner’s AOL or News Corp — that Yahoo has been working on.
Who needs competition when you have a nice big merger to complete? After 13 months of Congressional haggling that would have put John McCain to shame, Sirius chief Mel Karmazin won U.S. Department of Justice approval for his $5 billion marriage with XM Satellite Radio.
Sure they’re the only two subscription radio operators, but with all those iTunes downloads and Web radio personalities, there’s no need to think anyone will suffer with Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey in their exclusive hands.
Most expect the FCC will come through with the final green-light for XM and Sirius to close the deal, and then the real work on actually making money from satellite will begin.
We’re still a little stuck on the regulatory landscape that seems to err on the side of bigness, from Verizon and AT&T’s billion-dollar wireless spectrum wins, to a push from underdogs like Microsoft and Google to use the blank spaces of TV spectrum for mobile Internet and the ability to even contemplate a scenario in which Rupert Murdoch buys Newsday.
Let the games begin.
The latest data from a Reuters poll of Wall Street analysts who track either Microsoft Corp or Yahoo Inc, shows 28 of 30 analysts expect Microsoft to prevail in its unsolicited bid to acquire Yahoo, which is currently valued at $41.7 billion.