All your bases are [sic] belong to Ballmer
Summary: In its fight to dethrone Google, Microsoft — with the help of its secret ally Icahn — leaves Yahoo! shattered and Icahn calls it a day
WIKIPEDIA describes Carl Icahn as a “corporate raider”, amongst other things. Like Microsoft's patent troll Nathan Myhrvold, Icahn gives nothing of value to society; he only takes a lot from it. The Wall Street Journal has just called what Icahn did in Yahoo! a “proxy fight”. Yes, it is made that explicit and it comes from a respectable publication that presents shareholders’ point of view.
In May 2008, for instance, he launched a proxy fight to unseat Yahoo Inc.’s (YHOO) board after that wobbly web portal rejected a takeover by Microsoft…
Those who follow the bank bailout/bonuses fiasco (mentioned earlier today) will probably come across Carl Icahn. He is involved in that area too. This is not an activist, it’s an opportunistic corporate agitator who interferes with healthy markets for personal financial gain and the gains of those whom he collaborates/communicates with. This includes Microsoft’s management, as reported in CNET last year, just after Microsoft threatened a “proxy fight” (source: The Times). The fact that they can get away with it all is indicative of an innately-rotten system. Their marginally-criminal activities (organised/white-collar crime), which is almost akin to military coups (where war crimes or state terrorism are the appropriate, analogous allegations), simply go unpunished.
Icahn came inside to throw out the management [1, 2, 3], invite Microsoft, and help appoint cronies who served his objectives. He did bring some of his established friends to the company’s board. And now that his work is done [1, 2] on he moves, probably proceeding to another vicious corporate coup.
Icahn, an outspoken billionaire, spent several months last year denigrating Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and the rest of the company’s board after Yahoo turned down an opportunity to sell to Microsoft Corp. for $47.5 billion, or $33 per share.
The summary here is even more telling.
Famed activist praises company’s Microsoft deal, says he isn’t needed anymore
Of course it was his mission to just do this (skeptics should probably read through his history), perhaps handing over Yahoo! to Microsoft using bullying and money games. He managed to give Yahoo! to Microsoft almost for free, just as Microsoft had hoped. How does that add value to Yahoo! and its customers, which Icahn can only pretend to care about? Ugly, ugly business. He was never interested in the company, he was more interested in letting someone else control it and that someone (Microsoft) was speaking to him throughout, for a verifiable fact. Should the regulatory authorities not prevent hired/self-appointed guns from undertaking such ‘coups’? Well, here is more coverage from Bloomberg.
Yahoo’s proposed search partnership with Microsoft has hit a bump. When asked how the approval was proceeding, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told reporters that the partnership was facing regulatory snags.
It’s obvious what Microsoft’s trouble is: Google. This ever-growing company harms Microsoft’s cash cows, which are already starving, gradually. From Reuters we learn that: “Google goes global with Apps, has 2 million customers”
Google Inc (GOOG.O) said more than 2 million businesses now use its online office software, and the Web search leader is going global on Monday with an advertising campaign to lure customers away from Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and IBM (IBM.N) products.
From AFP we learn that: “Google wooing Microsoft business customers”
Google on Monday ramped up a campaign to convert businesses worldwide into users of email, calendar, document and other software programs it offers online as services on the Internet.
Twitter has just signed a deal with both Microsoft and Google, but only one among those two large companies is actually profiting. Here are some new numbers from the Guardian:
Microsoft’s results: online, it’s losing more money than before
Microsoft has, you’ll have seen, just announced its first-quarter results. They’re down on last year – which isn’t surprising for a company which relies on corporations for its principal revenues, at a time when corporations are suffering a continuing recession.
Microsoft as a whole is doing pretty badly, and not just online.
The latest version of Google’s Chrome browser presents a privacy risk through its search-term tracking, a Microsoft security executive has said.
Microsoft general manager Amy Barzdukas, who heads up Internet Explorer and consumer security for the software company, said on Wednesday that Chrome 3.0 sends packets of information to Google every time a character is typed into its search box.
“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.”