That's Right Icahn and Pickens: Back Off My Valley
This is petty.
But I'm glad to read this post where Carl Icahn laments that he can't so easily throw out a board anymore and this report that T. Boone Pickens lost $50 Million in speculative Yahoo buying. Icahn's lack of a clear victory had little to do with the Jabba the Hut-sized mutual funds squatting on shares. As Henry Blodget and Aaron Task have said over and over and over again on Tech Ticker-- as pissed as shareholders may have been, there was simply no reason to support Icahn. He had no plan except begging Microsoft to buy Yahoo which even a five year old could tell you isn't a good negotiating tact. He hardly even uses a computer.
You worry about creepy monopolist Microsoft having Yahoo in its clutches? What about people who probably understand as much about the Web as this guy:
I hope Pickens and Icahn just back away slowly from slumping Valley behemoths now. Sure, I have affection for Yahoo-- I wouldn't have a contract job with them if i didn't think it was a great asset. Yahoo Finance is one of the only sites I've consistently relied on throughout my career and because of that strength, in less than a year Tech Ticker has gathered an audience of several times the size of CNBC. (Sarahlacy.com is a ZImbra shop too.) But it's more than that. The Internet is so vitally important as a new platform for small businesses, independent contractors and people looking to connect and communicate with one another and Yahoo is the largest property, by several metrics. I don't want that in the hands of people who just see it as a stock transaction, damn the consequences.
Sure, if Yahoo was handed over to inept Ted Stevens-like hands, or broken into ineffectual parts that don't benefit from the fire hose of front page traffic, it'd be good for startups down the road. Say what you want about Yahoo-- it's a powerful force on the Web and if that were eroded some scrappy startup would profit. But what about the meantime? I'm not saying Yahoo is out of the woods. But these two corporate raiders are certainly not the answer.
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