I read Eric Jackson’s Why Apple Should Buy Yahoo! in Forbes and laughed. Then I thought about it. Some of what Apple would gain makes sense. Some of Yahoo! could get messy for Apple, and our favorite Mac maker doesn’t like messy.
Yahoo! is a search engine, news and information portal. A media portal, if you will. It makes money with advertising, something Apple has struggled to do.
The pro’s are obvious. Apple has more money than most developed nations. Yahoo! is cheap, relatively speaking.
Apple is already competing with Google so why not compete in a big way by owning a search engine and advertising behemoth?
A purchase of Yahoo! would be totally accretive and a cash and stock cost is ultimately affordable.
Apple has yet to succeed in social media. Yahoo! could give the company a leg up on a few hundred million visitors to Yahoo!’s prime properties.
Apple also has yet to succeed in the advertising business. That’s Yahoo!’s prime revenue stream and they’re pretty good at it.
What about search? Yahoo!’s search is really Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Apple would need to cut a deal with Microsoft or figure out a way to add value to an organically grown search.
What better way to compliment Yahoo!’s search than with Siri, Apple’s intelligent assistant (now relying on Wolfram Alpha).
There’s also the argument that Apple could use more patents (and Yahoo! has many) to stack up against Google, Microsoft, and others. And, it’s possible that Yahoo! could still be bought out by Microsoft, though Facebook has the financial capacity and the need for more revenue.
Personally, I see Siri in Apple’s future, but Siri needs deeper access to information– all of which Yahoo! currently possesses.
Jackson makes a compelling argument for a purchase. Once I stopped laughing, parts of the argument begin to look compelling.