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News Corp: Serious Suitor For Yahoo Or Just Speculation?

CNBC.com

What a week-and-a-half for Yahoo it has been: a $44.6 billion hostile bid for the company (a whopping 62 percent premium) then rumors of multiple suitors chomping at the bit to snap up this company, and rumors of a remarkable plan to make this company into an independent money-machine--secret plans that'll turn Yahoo into the greatest name online.

Think about this for a second: A week ago last Friday, Yahoo was a dog; a pitiful non-performer that squandered its innovation leadership in the market and watched its stock fall 40 percent in the previous three months.

Today, haggard turns to hero and suddenly Yahoo is the belle of the ball, the magic bullet for Microsoft , or Google , or AOL, or Apple , or NBCUniversal, or a host of others who think they can reverse Yahoo's internal paralysis and transform Yahoo onto something extraordinary.

Now there's speculation that Rupert Murdoch wants to make a play. On the surface, it makes sense since Microsoft ripped a page from the News Corp. playbook by offering such a massive premium to scare away other potential bidders; what Murdoch did with Dow Jones.

But that's just the point: News Corp. is busy trying to integrate that multi-billion dollar property into the News Corp. fold. It was a deal many thought Murdoch was over-extending himself to close. And that's a deal 10 times SMALLER than a play for Yahoo would be.

Most analysts I'm talking to dismissed this speculation as it began to circulate days after the Microsoft bid first made headlines. No way, they say, that News Corp. could cobble together the funding. And no way they'd do a deal this big so close to the Dow Jones deal.

Interesting speculation. Talk about being between a rock and hard place. Some would say Yahoo is in a cultural lose-lose situation: from one evil empire to another. (That's the Silicon Valley/CNBCer in me talking.)

But I digress: Microsoft is still the only game in Yahoo's town.

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