Microsoft Bids for Yahoo! Wrapup

By now you have probably heard the news that Microsoft has made a bid for Yahoo!. Since so many people are covering it I thought it would be best to do a end of day wrapup about the proposed Microsoft Yahoo! news.

Microsoft Yahoo!

By the time I got to the office today, I had already heard, from several people, the news about Microsoft making an unsolicited bid for Yahoo!. I have to admit that I first saw the news via the NBC Today Show over my morning liter of coffee.

The day started with reading Loren’s take on the news and me submitting it to Sphinn, my favorite place to keep up with the latest internet marketing/online marketing news.

I normally don’t get a lot of people in my office talking and mentioning it, but since I happen to have a Yahoo! button on my desk (as pictured below) there were many people passing by today asking what I thought of the news.

Yahoo! Button

I even had the opportunity to be asked by Kevin about what I thought. Here’s what I told him:

1. The benefits of combining Panama and adCenter, or replacing one with the other. Ultimately combining or replacing one of

the other would have to be done. I don’t know a lot about their backends, so it hard to comment about which should replace

which from a technical standpoint. Perhaps they both could be merged somehow. From what I can tell, though, it might make

sense for them to keep Panama since I believe Yahoo! Search Marketing has more customers on that platform at this point.

2. Best way to combine the search and directories of each company.The Microsoft bCentral directory was turned off a while

back, so I believe that keeping the current Yahoo! Directory would make sense, especially since it’s been around for so

long now. I could see a change in pricing, though.

3. The benefits Msft would see by adding Yahoo’s social networking properties, or how a Msft acquisition might affect those

properties?Microsoft would definitely benefit from adding Yahoo!’s social networking properties, especially since Microsoft

isn’t really known right now for social networking. It also gives Microsoft more places to run ads, and we’ve already seen

that recently with the addition of Microsoft’s ads running on Digg

This afternoon I had the pleasure of talking to a good friend (you know who you are) who has some additional knowledge

about the subject based on his background. Apparently his take on it is that it looks like this deal is going to happen.

And apparently he thinks “the result will be ugly”.

Here’s what some others think:

Experts Weigh In On Microsoft’s Yahoo Bid
Why Microsoft’s Yahoo Bid Won’t Work
Microsoft’s Yahoo bid: Ballmer’s e-mail to employees
Microsoft to buy Yahoo, Proposed acquisition deal $44.6 Billion, $31 per share.
Microsoft-Yahoo Merger: Our Entire Coverage

R.H. Donnelley to Acquire Business.com

RH Donnelley

business.com

R.H. Donnelley has agreed to acquire Business.com, Inc. for $345 million in cash and deferred purchase consideration. This deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2007. It’s also subject to customary terms and closing conditions, including compliance with the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

As part of the deal, Business.com’s CEO, Jake Winebaum, will be appointed the President of R.H. Donnelley’s Interactive Operations.

R.H. Donnelley Corporation is one of the United States’ leading Yellow Pages and internetl local commercial search companies. Business.com is a leading business search engine and directory and pay-per-click advertising network.

Business.com currently employs about 100 technologists, strategists, and businesspeople and serves more than 6,000 business-to-business advertisers and their agencies. Business.com is profitable and is expected to generate revenues of more than $50 million in 2007. Business.com is recognized as a leader in the internet B2B commercial search engine space and has been named to the “Inc. 500″ and BtoB magazine’s “Media Power 50″.

Business.com is currently led by Founder and CEO Jake Winebaum. Prior to starting Business.com, Winebaum led the the web division of The Walt Disney Company, serving as the Chairman of Buena Vista Internet Group.

R.H. Donnelley connects businesses and consumers through its broad portfolio of print and interactive marketing solutions. Small- and medium-sized businesses look to R.H. Donnelley’s experienced team of marketing consultants to help them grow their companies and drive sales leads. Consumers depend on the company’s reliable, trusted, local business content to deliver the most relevant search results when they are seeking local goods and services. R.H. Donnelley’s Triple Play integrated marketing solution provides the most comprehensive print Yellow Pages, Internet Yellow Pages and search engine marketing/search engine optimization (SEM/SEO) tools for local businesses to attract ready-to-buy customers. The R.H. Donnelley corporate website is here.

Business.com (www.business.com) is the leading business search engine and directory and pay-per-click advertising network, serving more than 30 million business users and thousands of advertisers every month. Business.com helps business decision makers quickly find what they need to manage and grow their businesses, and enables advertisers to reach these users wherever they are across the business Internet through premier partners, including The Wall Street Journal Online, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Hoovers, Financial Times and Internet.com. The company recently launched Work.com (www.work.com), a b-to-b community publishing platform featuring more than 1,800 business how-to guides contributed by business experts. Business.com was named to the 2006 Inc. 500 and BtoB magazine’s Media Power 50. Business.com was founded in 1999 by eCompanies and is headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. Its investors partners include Benchmark Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, Evercore Partners, Reed Business Information and McGraw-Hill. The Business.com website is, well, at www.Business.com.

There’s a lot of other sites talking today about R.H. Donnelley acquiring Business.com, including:

Business.com Sold To RH Donnelley; Beating DJ, NYT and News Corp
RH Donnelley Buys Business.com for $350 Million
Business.com acquired for $345 million
Business.com Sells for $350 Million
Business.com Sold for $360000000
Yellow Pages Publisher Buys Business.com For $350 Million
Business.com Reportedly Sold for $350 Million

Incisive Media Acquiring ALM

Incisive Media

Incisive Media, the company most known in the search engine marketing industry for having recently purchased the “Search Engine Strategies” conferences, has signed an agreement under which Incisive Media will acquire ALM, a company that owns and publishes 33 national and regional magazines and newspapers focused on the legal and real estate communities.

ALM owns publications such as The American Lawyer(R), The New York Law Journal(R), Corporate Counsel(R), The National Law Journal(R) and Real Estate Forum. ALM is one of North America’s largest producers of conferences and trade shows for business leaders and the legal profession. ALM owns Law.com, a leading online legal news and information network. ALM also owns GlobeSt.com, a leading information source for commercial real estate professionals. ALM generated about $200 million in revenues in 2006.

Incisive media operates in four main markets: financial services, risk management, professional services and marketing services. Incivise Media is headquartered in London, with other offices in Asia and North America. They deliver key information to defined target audiences across a variety of platforms: in print, through magazines; in person, via conferences, exhibitions and training programs; and online, through various websites. Incisive Media generates annual revenues of approximately $280 million.

William L. Pollak, President and Chief Executive Officer of ALM, will join Incisive Media’s Board.

Incisive Media was advised by Greenhill & Co., Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Financing for the transaction has been underwritten by the Royal Bank of Scotland. ALM was advised by Credit Suisse and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Health Search Engine Healia Acquired by Meredith Corporation

Healia

The vertical search engine Healia, a health search engine that specializes in finding high-quality and personalized health information, has been acquired by Meredith Corporation. Meredith is one of the USA’s leading media and marketing companies whose businesses center around magazine and book publishing, television broadcasting, integrated marketing, and interactive media. The actual terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

In the next few months, Healia’s technology is going to be integrated into Meredith’s existing web sites, which include bhg.com, familycircle.com, lhj.com, fitnessmagazine.com, parents.com, child.com americanbaby.com, and others. Meredith Corporation reports that their web properties receive over 9 million unique visitors per month and over 110 million pageviews.

Meredith and Healia will also expand the functionality of Healia.com and offer the technology through licensing and distribution agreements with certain health organizations, consumer web sites, employers, and other “premier partners”.

This is Meredith Corporation’s fourth acquisition recently. Previously, the company acquired online marketing service firms O’Grady Meyers, Genex and New Media Strategies. Additionally, the company has recently redesigned its flagship site, Better Homes and Gardens.com and has launched its first broadband video channel called Better.tv. Next month, Meredith Corporation reportedly will launch a new portal exclusively for parents on Parents.com and will add its second broadband tv channel at Parents.tv.

Healia, was represented by The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc., a New York-based investment bank that specializes in the media and information industries. Healia will remain in the Seattle, Washington area with no plans to relocate.

Meredith (http://www.meredith.com/) is one of the nation’s leading media and marketing companies with businesses centering on magazine and book publishing, television broadcasting, integrated marketing, and interactive media. The Meredith Publishing Group features 25 subscription magazines — including Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, Family Circle, Parents, American Baby, Fitness, and More — and publishes more than 200 special interest publications under approximately 80 titles. Meredith owns 13 television stations, including properties in top-25 markets Atlanta, Phoenix, and Portland.

Meredith has more than 400 books in print and has established marketing relationships with some of America’s leading companies through Meredith Integrated Marketing. Meredith’s consumer database, which contains more than 85 million names, is one of the largest domestic databases among media companies and enables magazine and television advertisers to target marketing campaigns precisely. Additionally, Meredith has an extensive Internet presence that includes more than 30 Web sites and broadband channels. Meredith Hispanic Ventures publishes five Spanish-language titles, making Meredith the leading publisher serving Hispanic women in the United States.

Healia, Inc. (http://www.healia.com/) is the creator of a proprietary, health-optimized search engine that uses patent-pending technology to generate high quality, highly targeted, and personalized results for consumers. Research and development of the Healia search engine was partly funded by the National Cancer Institute’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The Healia team is comprised of nationally recognized experts in eHealth, consumer health informatics, and emerging technologies.

Microsoft to Acquire Advertising Platform aQuantive

About a month ago, I talked about Google Acquiring Doubleclick. Now, we have Microsoft acquiring aQuantive. Microsoft is planning on building an internet-wide advertising platform for advertisers, ad agencies, and publishers. acquire aQuantive, Inc., for $66.50 per share in an all-cash deal worth about $6 billion.

This acquisition by Microsoft enables them to strengthen relationships with advertisers, agencies and publishers. It will enhance their ad platforms and services far beyond their current capabilities. The acquisition also provides Microsoft increased depth in building and supporting next generation advertising solutions and environments such as cross media planning, video-on-demand and IPTV. Combining aQuantive’s technologies and services with Microsoft’s portfolio will provide value for the industry’s key constituencies as follows:

By combining Microsoft and aQuantive, advertisers and ad agencies will benefit from media planning, buying, and campaign management. Media owners and publishers will benefit from to best-in-class inventory optimization and monetization solutions across a full suite of rich media, video and targeting capabilities.

Avenue A | Razorfish will continue to serve its clients, and the Avenue A | Razorfish clients will benefit from having access to Microsoft’s next generation ad solutions and advertising services.

aQuantive, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is the parent company of three primary brands: Atlas, DRIVEpm, and Avenue A | Razorfish.

Atlas provides a set of advanced tools for both advertisers and publishers. The Atlas Media Console is an industry-leading toolset providing agencies and advertisers with capabilities to maximize ROI. The Atlas Publisher platform enables publishers to maximize monetization opportunities for their content.

DRIVEpm provides services to publishers and advertisers that math advertiser campaigns with publisher inventory enabling all parties to maximize ROI.

Avenue A | Razorfish is one of the largest interactive ad agencies in the world, providing advertisers with industry-leading digital marketing consultation, media planning and buying, and creative services that help advertisers use the online channel to build meaningful, profitable relationships with their customers.

The Microsoft-aQuantive deal is expected to be completed in the first half of Microsoft’s fiscal year 2008. This deal is not expected to have a significant impact on the financial guidance previously issued by Microsoft.

aQuantive, has about 2600 employees and will continue to operate from its Seattle headquarters as part of Microsoft’s Online Services Business.

There are a lot of other sites talking about the Microsoft aQuantive deal:
Microsoft To Acquire Online Marketing Firm aQuantive For $6 Billion
Microsoft Pays $6 billion for aQuantive
Microsoft to purchase aQuantive for $6 billion
Microsoft pays 85% premimum for Aquantive
Microsoft buys Aquantive
Microsoft Buys aQuantive for $6 Billion
Microsoft to buy Aquantive for $6 billion
Now its Microsoft’s turn – Aquantive goes for $6 billion

After waiting a while, I went back through my list of bloggers/blog sites/sites and found a lot more sites talking about the Microsoft aQuantive deal. [Read more...]

Google to Acquire DoubleClick

Google has announced an agreement to acquire DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in cash from San Francisco-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman along with JMI Equity and management. The acquisition will combine DoubleClick’s expertise in ad management technology for media buyers and sellers with Google’s leading advertising platform and publisher monetization services.

Here’s more from the press release:

The combination of Google and DoubleClick will offer superior tools for targeting, serving and analyzing online ads of all types, significantly benefiting customers and consumers:

- For users, the combined company will deliver an improved experience on the web, by increasing the relevancy and the quality of the ads they see.

- For online publishers, the combination provides access to new advertisers, which creates a powerful opportunity to monetize their inventory more efficiently.

- For agencies and advertisers, Google and DoubleClick will provide an easy and efficient way to manage both search and display ads in one place. They will be able to optimize their ad spending across different online media using a common set of metrics.

“It has been our vision to make Internet advertising better – less intrusive, more effective, and more useful. Together with DoubleClick, Google will make the Internet more efficient for end users, advertisers, and publishers,” said Sergey Brin, Co-Founder & President, Google Technology.

“DoubleClick’s technology is widely adopted by leading advertisers, publishers and agencies, and the combination of the two companies will accelerate the adoption of Google’s innovative advances in display advertising,” said Eric Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer of Google.

“This transaction will strengthen our advertising network by expanding our access to publisher inventory and enabling us to serve the needs of a broader set of advertisers and ad agencies,” said Tim Armstrong, President, Advertising and Commerce, North America, Google.

“Google is the absolute perfect partner for us,” said David Rosenblatt, Chief Executive Officer of DoubleClick. “Combining DoubleClick’s cutting edge digital solutions for both media buyers and sellers with Google’s scale and innovative resources will bring tremendous value to both our employees and clients.”

“When we acquired DoubleClick in July 2005, we saw an opportunity to partner with a great management team to further enhance the company’s capabilities and growth trajectory,” said Philip Hammarskjold, Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman. “This transaction affirms the successful transformation of DoubleClick, positions the firm for the future, and greatly benefits our investors.”

Both companies have approved the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close by the end of the year. [Read more...]