By Kyle Austin
Wow! Echoing TechCrunch, this is big. As Steve Ballmer’s bear hug letter reached Jerry Yang in the wee hours of the morning, the internet age as we knew it was turned upside down. The monopolistic rule of Google has been altered and we are headed into the “cold war” of the internet age.
Assuming this unsolicited bid / non-hostile (this could change) takeover happens (It will), the line will be drawn in the sand more clearly then it ever has been before. You’re either with the folks in Redmond or you’re with the folks in Mountain View and there will be no room for Austria.
As David Kirkpatrick eloquently notes: “It (today’s bid) will influence and rearrange the competitive alliances and strategy of just about every company that aspires to a digital future.”
Google beat everyone to this digital world and has been rolling around in money ever since. However, since capping at $747 shares in November the stock is currently trading around $515 a share today after announcing that it missed analyst’s predictions for Q4 last night.
That ingredient may have been the final straw that brought this “non” hostile bid public. Kara Swisher is now reporting that Ballmer had the wheels in full motion for the takeover on Tuesday after Yahoo! announced its dreary Q4 earnings. Swisher is citing sources that say Ballmer approached Yang on Tuesday with the newest overtures and gave Yahoo! executives two days to respond before going public with the bid.
Sounds like Yahoo! may have called “bluff” and who really knows if Microsoft honestly planned on going with this on Thursday. But, after Google announced falling below Q4 earnings, Ballmer had the perfect storm and the ideal time to go public with his bid.
Don’t think that Google is just laughing this off. The Valleywag is reporting that Google PR head Elliot Schrage is forbidding all Google employees from discussing a potential Microhoo! competitor. This story will be obsessed over more then the Super Bowl in the next couple days (in the valley anyways). Here is Boston we’re focused on perfection not the looming cold war.