Yahoo is re-opening talks with Google about a possible business alliance in an effort to rebuff Microsoft’s takeover proposal, which Yahoo says undervalues the company at $31 a share. [Reuters]

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  1. trujunglist says:

    I didn’t realize you could undervalue something that was absolutely worthless.

  2. RottNDude says:

    So is it going to be Yahoogle or Goohoo?

  3. spinachdip says:

    @trujunglist: I’m probably taking a troll bait here, but why worthless? Yahoo is Microsoft’s chief rival in portals and webmail (I was surprised to learn that Hotmail and Yahoo together command 80% of the webmail market), and one of its main competitors in instant messaging, not to mention acquiring Yahoo would help Microsoft slightly close the gap on Google in the search engine war.

    Plus, Yahoo basically owns the fantasy sports market, and owns boutique properties like Rivals, Flickr, del.icio.us and Upcoming that could be sold at a premium or kept for ad revenues.

    I have no idea if $31 is a fair valuation (my guess is Microsoft needs Yahoo more than Yahoo needs Microsoft), but the company is far from worthless.

  4. lesbiansayswhat says:

    I was also surprised to hear how much of the webmail market they command since I have yet to email anyone @yahoo.com. But then I realized that Flickr requires you to have a Yahoo account and most users probably don’t actually use it for other purposes besides logging into Flickr..I don’t and neither do my many photog friends.

  5. commorancy says:

    Spinachdip,

    As of late, Yahoo’s mail has been extremely bad. I’ve been considering moving my webmail to another provider. I’m regularly getting error code 3, 4, 5, 10, 15 and probably every other number between 1-20 as error codes. I’ve tried resolving this issue with Yahoo support, but I get canned responses without any thought or care.

    However, as far as search, I have always found that Yahoo has given me much more relevant search results than Google. When I search Google, 9 out of 10 results are random and not relevant to my search. A lot of them are related to shopping sites (like I’m looking for shopping sites with regards to information about the presidential election). With Yahoo, I get usually at least 3-4 out of 10 that are relevant.

    So, for search, I prefer Yahoo. For webmail, I used to like Yahoo, but since their recent changes in Classic Mail (causing errors) and their rollout of the New Improved (but extremely slow) Mail interface, I’ll probably be moving my mail once again.

    For the value, Yahoo’s value is all guesswork and based on speculation. Yahoo’s valuation of the company will obviously state that Microsoft’s bid is low if they don’t want to take the bid. It’s all based on point-of-view. Amazing how that works.

  6. gmanj says:

    Check out this web link…

    [en.wikipedia.org]

    I guess the burying isn’t going so well just now, so this is the next step.

  7. trujunglist says:

    @spinachdip:

    Well, it’s just worthless to me, because I haven’t used yahoo for years, and the only time I did use it was when I wanted to play chess against someone. I did have yahoo mail for a while, but found it to be complete crap.
    I don’t use yahoo mail, I don’t use Flickr, I don’t use the search engine, and I’ve not used any of the other so-called boutique properties.
    Everyone I know uses Google for search, many different e-mail providers (but only 1 uses yahoo that I can recall), and granted, some people I know use Flickr (but I wouldn’t because of copyright issues).
    So, take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I’ve been using computers for a very long time, and the fact that no one I know uses yahoo (except the 1 email address that I can recall) and that I’ve been using computers for nearly my entire life and have seen companies like this go down the toilet, I’d say it’s worthless. But hey, it’s all IMHO, no trolling, just opinions. If you like yahoo, go for it, I’m no google fan boi.

  8. commorancy says:

    Trujunglist,

    Can you expound on the “some people I know use Flickr (but I wouldn’t because of copyright issues)” statement? What copyright issues could result because of using Flickr? If you’re concerned over losing or challenging your copyrights, that can happen on any site. Flickr is not special there. Flickr does let you choose whether you want your image to remain All Rights Reserved or allows you to choose creative commons. So, I don’t see any issues with copyrights. Flickr does let you choose the copyright status you want. Am I missing something?

  9. RottNDude says:

    At least Yahoo has somewhat effective spam filtering, unlike the garbage that is Hotmail. I get legit messages thrown in the trash and spam put in the Inbox all the time on Hotmail.

  10. spinachdip says:

    @commorancy: Yahoo’s been my junk mail account ever since Yahoo made POP a premium service, so I wouldn’t know how bad it is. Honestly, I don’t see why anyone would pick a webmail service other than Gmail (and I know maybe two people who haven’t switched from Hotmail or Yahoo to Gmail), but that’s just me.

    @trujunglist: Well, your opinion’s fine and all, but it’s based completely on anecdotal evidence. I’m just trying to understand how you *feel* about Yahoo has anything to do with its value on the stock market and as a M&A target.

    And yes, please do expound on the “copyright issues”. If you’re worried about your photos being re-used without permission, as commonrancy points out, you can choose a Creative Commons license, or you can change your settings so that they’re private and/or not downloadable.

  11. Mr_Human says:

    Man, am I the only one who still uses My Yahoo, and the Calendar, and the email, and the Address book? I’m on Yahoo like a hundred times a day. Now, I did try gmail, but if I recall I didn’t like how it handled external pop accounts.

  12. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    I like how Yahoo! is a publicly traded company but they’ve decided they are undervalued at $31 per share. I’m going to go into the office and tell my boss that I’m undervalued and need a 50% raise. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.

  13. KJones says:

    @commorancy:

    I wrote to The Consumerist many months ago about a problem with Yahoo’s email but it was never published.

    Yahoo has been closing long-used and regularly used email accounts (many over three years of use) without any warning any only reactivating them if a $30 “service fee” is paid, and sometimes not even after the money is paid. That’s not service, it’s blackmail. Many customer posted complaints on Yahoo which were then actively censored by the company.

    (If anyone’s response is, “Maybe you violated their TOS,” get Yahoo to explain to me or the hundreds or thousands of other users who lost accounts how we violated rules. They certainly never gave me or anyone else an explanation.)

    IF Yahoo and Google partner up, it had damn well better be Google that’s in charge. They may be one of the most unresponsive and arrogant to complaints and questions, but at least using them causes the fewest problems.

    Personally, I’d rather see Yahoo and Microshaft get together. Their combined bloat and incompetence would kill them both off. Remember how Microshaft nearly choked when they bought out Hotmail? They switched the servers from Linux to NT with big fanfare, and then quietly changed them back to Linux because NT couldn’t handle it.

  14. spinachdip says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: Care to remind me when market inefficiencies suddenly disappeared and all investors became omniscient and infallible?

    Not saying that Yahoo is or isn’t undervalued, but you seem to ignore the fact that our entire capital markets are based on exploiting the difference between a stock’s traded price and its true value and/or potential growth (hence, growth investors and value investors!!!).

  15. KJones says:

    @commorancy: However, as far as search, I have always found that Yahoo has given me much more relevant search results than Google. When I search Google, 9 out of 10 results are random and not relevant to my search. A lot of them are related to shopping sites (like I’m looking for shopping sites with regards to information about the presidential election). With Yahoo, I get usually at least 3-4 out of 10 that are relevant.

    If you want better search results from Google, use the logical operators “+” and “-”. Here are some examples (put the contents between [] into Google’s box) :

    [ paper dolls ]
    This returns pages with the word “paper” or with the word “dolls”, but not necessarily both and not necessarily in that order.

    [ +paper dolls ]
    This returns pages that must contain the word “paper” but may or may not contain the word “dolls”.

    [ +paper +dolls ]
    This returns pages with the word “paper” and with the word “dolls”, but not necessarily together or in that order.

    [ “paper dolls” ]
    This returns pages that contain the exact phrase “paper dolls”.

    [ +paper -dolls ]
    This returns only pages with the word “paper” and without the word “dolls”.

    Why other search engines don’t provide this, I can’t fathom.

  16. That70sHeidi says:

    I didn’t get that copyright thing on Flickr – I can grab whatever images I want, whether the user “allows” it or no. It’s called source code. Unless you’re not sharing at all, your stuff gets snagged.

    In the last month my Yahoo mail has been flooded with spam, when it wasn’t a problem before. I’m still getting 100 spam a day in the right folder, but up to 20 a day in my inbox. Gmail is definitely winning that war.

    I haven’t been able to get YGames running for… about a year? I don’t know what on Firefox changed to disallow any pages to load, but meh, I can live without it. There’s tons of free game sites on the interwebz.

  17. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @commorancy:

    Well if you or anyone else want gmail invites, just let me know!

  18. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Mr_Human: Yes you are. Yahoo is crap compared to Gmail. Gmail’s POP access is better too & free to boot.

  19. quagmire0 says:

    @Jaysyn: I don’t think they require invites anymore. :) But +1 on the recommendation to use gmail. It is BY FAR the leader in blocking spam. Even my spam account doesn’t get unsolicited spam!

  20. guspaz says:

    Before the announcement, Yahoo was trading at about $19 per share. Microsoft offered $31 per share.

    How the heck is that undervalued? Even after the announcement and their stock price spiked, it’s still only worth $29 per share.

    Yahoo needs to stop smoking crack. I seriously question their judgment if they think that that Microsoft’s offer of 60% above actual value is “undervalued”.

    So, Microsoft is insane for offering so much more than the company is worth, and Yahoo is insane for thinking they’re worth so much more than they actually are. Sigh.