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谁能收购雅虎?
时间:2007年01月04日20:07 我来说两句  

 
精彩世界杯 精彩进球视频

  Seven years ago the the first internet wave finally broke, withamassive bet on fusing old and new media. Time Warner and AOLarestill repairing the damage. Will the second (more considered)waveof internet exuberance lead to another attempt atanindustry-defining deal?

  So far, media and internet companies have mainly boughtbite-sizedbusinesses. The main difference this time is that thelikes ofMySpace, bought by News Corporation, have already shownmoresubstance than some of the hot air that was acquired in thelate1990s. Google for example signed a deal guaranteeing $900m ofsearchrevenues to MySpace over three years – more than the $580mNews Corppaid for the business less than a year earlier. Thosesmallish dealsare likely to continue as the likes of Viacom try tostrengthentheir internet platforms and Google and Yahoo continuebroadeningtheir positions.

  But Googles $1.6bn acquisition of YouTube may not bethehigh-water mark. If there is a big deal to come, Yahoo lookslikethe most probable target. It remains one of the mostattractiveinternet platforms with a huge global audience across arange ofproducts including search, email and video. But it facesproblems,largely because its technology has not delivered enoughsearchadvertising revenue from its army of users. Its shares fell35 percent in 2006 – while some “old media” conglomerates madegains ofthat amount.

  Something will have to change at Yahoo to reverse the momentum.Sofar, the company has adjusted its organisational structureandreplaced some senior executives. It is still relying on asolutionfrom its two-year-old project “Panama” to boost the moneyit makesfrom each search query.

  But if there is another hiccup, such as a profits warning(say,because of more “Panama” delays or weakness in displayadvertisingpricing, as new slots become available fromrapidly-growing siteslike Facebook and MySpace) the pressure forsomething more radicalcould grow. That might mean more drasticmanagement changes.Alternatively, it could encourage anothercompany to bet that itcan make better use of Yahoos enviableinternet presence.

  The most obvious fit is Microsoft. Leaving aside the culturalandintegration risks and possible anti-trust concerns, itcouldcomfortably afford Yahoos $35bn market capitalisation. Thegroupwould fill a gap in Microsofts internet strategy, which hasso farstruggled to gain traction. Combining the two companiessearchbusinesses would come closer to rivalling Googles marketshare andthey would be a serious force in email and instantmessaging.Microsoft would also be able to focus its huge technologyresourceson Yahoos search monetisation problems.

  Others might also be interested, if Yahoo looked vulnerable.Itcould make strategic sense for a big media company looking totakea big leap on the web – which is attracting a growing shareofaudiences and advertising. While it would be a huge deal, atleastYahoos recent poor share price performance means it nolongertrades at a multiple completely detached from those ofmediaconglomerates. Ebay would no doubt investigate a merger. AndGooglewould presumably be keen to find ways to link into Yahooshugeonline traffic.

  The second internet boom is marked by greater discrimination–notwithstanding some of the prices being paid for young,unprovencompanies. At least the big internet businesses are builtoncash-generative foundations. But it could yet culminate inanotherbig deal. The difference this time is that it may well be abiginternet company that gets snapped up, rather than one usingitshighly-rated paper to do the buying (接下页)

  谁能收购雅虎?

  七年前,第一波互联网浪潮终于破碎了,人们对新旧媒体的融合投下巨额赌注。
时代华纳(TimeWarner)和美国在线(AOL)迄今仍在修补的创伤。第二波(更深思熟虑的)互联网热潮中,还会有人尝试来一次影响整个行业的交易吗?

  迄今为止,媒体和互联网企业主要都在收购小型企业。这一次与上一次的主要区别在于,诸如新闻集团(NewsCorporation)收购的MySpace等企业,都已显示出更为实质性的东西,而不像上世纪90年代末被收购的企业那样只是在吹热泡泡。比如,谷歌(Google)与MySpace签署的协议,保证了MySpace未来三年可获得9亿美元搜索收入,大大超过新闻集团不到一年前收购MySpace支付的5.8亿美元。随着维亚康姆(Viacom)等公司全力巩固其互联网平台、谷歌及雅虎(Yahoo)继续扩大市场,这些小额的交易可能会不断出现。

  但谷歌以16亿美元收购YouTube的交易或许不会成为最高标准。若要出现大的交易,雅虎似乎是最有可能的目标。它仍是最有吸引力的互联网平台之一,在多个产品领域拥有庞大的全球受众,包括搜索、电子邮件和视频等。但它面临着问题,主要源于其技术未能从用户群中获得足够的搜索广告收入。2006年,雅虎股价跌去了35%,而一些“老媒体”巨头的股票则上涨了同样高的幅度。

  要扭转局面,雅虎就必须改变。迄今为止,该公司已经调整了组织架构,换掉了一些高管。目前它仍在依赖已有两年历史的“Panama”项目的解决来提高从每次搜索中获得的收入。

  但如果再有不利消息传出,比如发布盈利预警(原因或在于“Panama”再次推迟发布,或者随着Facebook和MySpace等快速发展的网站有更多广告空间可提供,雅虎不能证明其广告价有所值),那么要求进行更激进变革的压力可能就会增加。这可能意味着更剧烈的管理层变动。或者,这也可能鼓励其它公司押下这样的赌注:它能够更好地利用雅虎那令人艳羡的互联网地位。

  看起来最合适的收购方是微软(Microsoft)。撇开文化和整合风险以及可能的反垄断问题,微软可以轻松拿出雅虎350亿美元的市值。微软的互联网战略迄今一直在苦苦寻找牵引力,而雅虎可填补这一空白。两家公司搜索业务合并在一起,可接近竞争对手谷歌的市场份额,而在电子邮件和即时通讯方面,它们可组成一股强大的力量。微软也能将其庞大的技术资源集中用于解决雅虎搜索“生钱”的问题。

  如果雅虎显得弱不禁风,其它公司可能也会有兴趣。互联网正在吸引越来越多的受众和广告份额,对一家想一步跃上网络快车的大型媒体公司来说,收购雅虎将具有战略意义。虽然这将是一宗大规模的交易,但至少雅虎近期糟糕的股价走势表明,它的市盈率不再是与大型媒体企业相脱节的情况了。毫无疑问,Ebay会考虑这样的合并。谷歌大概也会热衷于设法与雅虎巨大的在线流量搭上钩。

  第二波互联网热潮的特征是更严重的歧视——虽然也有一些资金付给了未经考验的新兴企业。至少大型互联网企业都建立在创造现金的基础上。但这也可能要在另一个大型交易中才会达到顶点。这一回的不同之处在于,被抢购的很可能是一家大型互联网公司,而不是一家通过发行高评级债券来进行收购的企业。(编辑:赵露)

  2


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