Friday, September 16, 2005

M&A and Strategy

There has been these huge mergers and acquisitions going on in the last week in the world of tech.

Today, the rumour is that MS is buying AOL.

As usual I get my info from SlashDot. The best thing about Slashdot is the comments, they are insighful, information and funny!

Like the one below:

Oracle buys Siebel.
eBay buys Skype.

Ballmer: (to Bill via bad cell phone connection) Billy-boy, what are we going to do? They're getting more press than us this week.
Gates: Eh? Oh hell! (AOL) ( as he spills his coffee on his lap and hangs up)
Ballmer: Well, ok if you say so.
This is so funny.
I do not see how Oracle can become better buying something like itself, which is what Siebel is.
Ebay and Skype. I cannot fathom what you can get out of those synergy except that the founders and VCs make a lot of money and Ebay is moving into an unknown field.
And AOL and MS is frankly I don't know what you can do other than having better numbers.
Imagine AOL starts and wins the first war of ISP in US, and then buys Time Warner for cheap (inflated bubble share price) and changes its name to AOL Time Warner and then to AOL and now AOLMSN. Sucks!
This comment has more info on Synergy:
And let's recap the failures of Time Warner with AOL. Time Warner corporate failed to get Time Warner Cable to carry AOL as its premiere ISP, which was the #1 reason why AOL pursued the merger in the first place. Time Warner corporate failed to take any initiative to getting Time Warner Cable to make a deal with TiVo for set-top DVRs even though through AOL, Time Warner held a large stake in TiVo. Time Warner failed to leverage AOL's WinAmp property combined with the Warner Music Group interests...not to mention failing to envision an actual online music store like iTunes and instead relied upon nobody's favorite company Real to make MusicNet a success that it never became. I could list much more, but I'll end it with settling with Microsoft for less than $1 billion the antitrust case that AOL easily would've won the $10 billion they were demanding (and had that figure trebbled) had they committed to fight for the eventual ruling and a good 5 years of appeals.
I can never understand how this kind of stuff can be taught in MBA schools! Impossible.
This bit is even more amusing.
MSN and AOL team up? Yeah - there's a marriage made in heaven.
How'd you like to be the poor stiff in Bangalore sorting out the crap that's
certain to result?

Caller: Hi. I have MSN and my AOL account doesn't work.
In fact nothing works.
Banglaore Tech: And sir did you turn the computer on
Caller: Oh. right.
Bangalore Tech: Very good sir. Now kindly go
fuck yourself sir. Thank you for calling MSN/AOL tech support, you knuckle
dragging imperialist asswipe sir.


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