There’s a Mexican standoff of buyout rumours surrounding several underperforming tech companies. The latest: AOL (TWX) is up for sale, and the most likely buyer appears to be Yahoo (YHOO). But with the Congress investigating possible antitrust implications of the Yahoo-Google deal and a collapse in investor faith that Yang and Decker can lead the company, Yahoo may be not have its feet under it. Meanwhile Microsoft (MSFT), sensing a possible threat in a combined AOL-Yahoo, might make a play of its own for AOL. But maybe AOL will play the predator rather than the prey. One report says Microsoft was in discussions with Time Warner (or maybe News Corp.) to team up for a fresh bid for Yahoo.
Confused yet? So are we.
But Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft aren’t the only companies struggling for a strategy. eBay (EBAY) got hit with a lawsuit in European court, and the auction site badly needs to win on appeal. We’re hopeful but not overly optimistic that the CNET acquisition can help revive operations at flagging CBS (CBS). And while we wouldn’t touch a newspaper stock with a 10-foot pole, the New York Times seems to have a vision for nytimes.com that’s well ahead of its peers.
But hey, think optimistic! If Twitter just might be worth a billion dollars someday, anything is possible.