Yahoo!'s a Yawner Again

The Microhoo saga finally finds two parties making peace, but neither of them is Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) .

Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) has made nice with Carl Icahn heading into next week's annual shareholder battle, putting to rest a nasty proxy bottle for boardroom control. Under the terms of the settlement, Yahoo! will only retain eight of its current board members. Icahn -- along with two of his cronies from his proposed slate of replacements -- will join the board.

Icahn must have seen the writing on the wall. Even with Yahoo! literally spelling out that it will sell itself for "$33 a share or more" -- less than even the $34.375 price tag that Icahn demanded last month -- Microsoft wasn't going for the bait.

The value of Yahoo! has apparently diminished in Microsoft's eyes since its initial buyout overtures nearly six months ago. Now Mr. Softy just wants to lasso Yahoo!'s search business.

If that isn't enough to derail Icahn's simple plan of taking over Yahoo!'s boardroom to hand it over to Microsoft at a premium, last week found Yahoo! investor Legg Mason (NYSE: LM  ) siding with Yahoo!'s current members.

The major bummer here is that the Yahoo! board member stepping down during the makeover will be Activision (Nasdaq: ATVI  ) CEO Robert Kotick. Ouch! Yahoo!'s board is loaded with a motley crew of airline execs and Yahoo! insiders. Kotick was one of the rare members actually succeeding in today's business climate outside of the boardroom.

Ultimately, today's moves dampen next week's fireworks show. Shareholders won't have an alternate slate of directors to vote in as a show of their displeasure. Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang has bought himself a little more time, hopefully long enough to ramp up Yahoo!'s paid outsourcing deal through Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) and improve his company's finances. There's no longer a pressing need for Yahoo! to make things up in volume by hooking up with either News Corp. (NYSE: NWS  ) MySpace or Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX  ) AOL. Urgency, begone!

Yahoo! is boring again, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Further Foo-hoo-lishness:

Microsoft and Legg Mason are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Time Warner and Activision are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Legg Mason. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of Yahoo! and Microsoft, but not of bad weddings. Hdoes not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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  • Report this Comment On July 22, 2008, at 1:10 AM, dottavi wrote:

    You know what? I don't really get which are the assets of Yahoo, and how big they are. Ok, traffic. But so what? Subscribed members? And how many are they?

    What does Yahoo has that we *really* can't live without?

    Have you seen this TechCrunch's video

    With a possibile future Google? Looks like we can forget Yahoo

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