Sunnyvale (CA) – What do you do if your company is the target of a possible hostile take-over? Make the possible acquisition as expensive and painful as possible. This is exactly what Yahoo did today. Steve Ballmer won’t be happy.
Yahoo announced a limited U.S.-only test of Google’s AdSense service, exactly that company that not only is dominating the advertising business, but also the company Yahoo and Microsoft want to catch up with. This test will basically deliver relevant AdSense ads next to Yahoo search results.
Of course, Yahoo! had to be carefull, since the company is living of its network of affiliates and premium partners. The test itself will last for around two weeks and will be limited to 3% of overall number of searches inside U.S.
Officially, Yahoo stated that thsi move is part of the board’s intent to explore „strategic alternatives to maximize stockholder value, including exploration of potential commercial business arrangements.“ Yahoo said that the testing does not necessarily mean that Yahoo! will join the AdSense for Search program or that any further commercial relationship with Google will result.
Unofficially, we have the feeling that Steve Ballmer was ticked when he learned about the news, really ticked. Given the fact that Ballmer has the reputation to vent his anger right on his desk, we would not be surprised if a shipment of keyboards and/or laptops would be heading to the Microsoft Building 33, Suite #5202, tomorrow.
Last weekend, Microsoft sharpened its vocabulary in the public discussion with Yahoo. The company threatened to initiate a proxy fight to replace Yahoo’s board of directors and pay less money for the Internet company. Yahoo, which showed signs that it generally is willing to sell the company, rejected the offer and threat after an emergency board meeting.
In a way, believe that Yahoo will not only test Adsense with this latest move. They will also test an angry Microsoft.