Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay wrote in a research note that “the Microsoft bid of $31 is very astute” because it puts pressure on Yahoo management to take actions that could unlock the underlying value of Yahoo assets, which he estimates are worth upward of $39-$45 a share.
Separately, Google Inc fired back on Sunday at Microsoft Corp’s bid to acquire Yahoo Inc, accusing Microsoft of seeking to extend its computer software monopoly deeper into the Internet realm.
David Drummond, a Google senior vice president and its chief legal officer, said in a blog post that the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo could undermine competition on the Web and called on policy makers to challenge the combination.
Microsoft responded to Google’s arguments by saying that a merger with Yahoo would create a “compelling number two competitor for Internet search and online advertising” to market leader Google.
“The alternative scenarios only lead to less competition on the Internet,” Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said in a statement.
Drummond argued that Microsoft’s power stems from decades- old monopolies in Windows — the software operating system used to control most personal computers — and Internet Explorer, which is the dominant browser consumers used to view the Web.
Microsoft’s proposed merger with Yahoo would combine the No. 1 and No. 2 suppliers of Web-based e-mail, instant messaging (IM) and portals, which act as starting points for hundreds of millions of users seeking information on the Web.
The Google executive argued in an official blog post that Microsoft could be looking to favor Microsoft and Yahoo services by pushing customers to other Web services they own instead of letting customers elect to use rival services.
“Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors’ email, IM, and Web-based services?” Drummond said in a blog at googleblog.blogspot.com.