Early last week Google was all set to snap up Digg, with intent papers signed and they were well into the due diligence stage of the deal where Google would have been looking into Diggs, financials and technology. It seems Google caught a whiff of something it didn’t like and late Thursday or Friday and walked away from the deal.
TechCrunch.com says two unnamed sources close to the deal “suggested that some issue that came up during technical due diligence was to blame”. Another source said that the problem was “personality driven”, and Google decided, “that there just wasn’t a fit”. The deal appears dead, and Digg has been left at the altar.
Always a bride’s maid and never a bride, what’s a social content website to do? Push for more financing of course! Allen & Co was hired to represent them in the sale, but it seems that the investment bank is just as good at closing massive venture financings as well.
This is sure to be a relief for some Digg users who were concerned what a large corporate overlord would have meant for the company.Do you think Google would have done more harm than good?
And is there any wonder? Time Warner has been in talks with both Microsoft and Yahoo about selling off its AOL unit through out this year, but both companies have been much more interested in each other than the crumbled remains of AOL. Time Warner has showed a renewed interest in a deal and Microsoft and Yahoo continue to listen, but neither company appeared to be especially interested.
The NYTimes.com quotes Richard Greenfield, an analyst who covers Time Warner for Pali Capital, “I don’t see why anyone would make a move now with all the pieces on the chess board where they are,” he said. He adds that Time Warner was in a bad spot because the value of AOL was declining. (Doesn’t everyone want dialup?) Its main business is now selling graphical display ads and that is under pricing pressure. Greenfield also says its brand has a “toxic” connotation with consumers. The company does not even use the AOL name when it starts new web sites.
From its days as the evil empire of dialup companies, they earned the nickname ‘AOHell’. The company seemed to lack firm direction, buying various companies with no obvious connection to their business and often ruining them in the process. Perhaps the most famous of these is ICQ. The most popular IM program of the time was turned into bloatware, which quickly sank out of sight. Don’t even get me started on Netscape. AOL entered the portal ring way late and had already bled dialup users seeking the freedom of the internet compared to AOL’s own internal version of it. The company has been aimless and with its almost necrotic touch, is it any wonder consumers find the brand toxic?
It seems that Yahoo’s recent rejections of a Microsoft offer with a short deadline, has spurred on investor Carl Icahn to proceed with his attempt to replace Yahoo’s current board, including Chief Executive Jerry Yang.
In a note written to Yahoo shareholders Icahn said, "Our company is on a precipice and our board seems ready to take the risk of seeing it topple".
Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock and Chief Executive Jerry Yang wrote, "We are prepared to let you, our stockholders, not Microsoft and Carl Icahn, decide what is in your best interests and we look forward to the upcoming vote".
Recent gains that Yahoo stock had made on hopes that Ichan could broker a deal fell 4.2% on Monday’s trading.
It seems the showdown is on for the August 1st shareholders vote. You can catch more details here.
Will Yahoo be assimilated? Is resistance futile? Sound off, and tell us what you think!