& cplSiteName &

Facebook Too Pricey for Yahoo?

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
10/18/2006
50%
50%

Google's $1.65 billion valuation of the video sharing site YouTube will make it harder for Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) to buy the social networking site Facebook for a reasonable sum, industry observers say.

Yahoo has been losing ground to Google in the Internet ad business, and some people think the company needs an effective counter punch to Google's latest ad traffic land grab.

Yahoo's talks to buy Facebook reportedly broke down because of a serious disagreement on price. Google's valuation of YouTube isn't likely to help matters.

"There is a finite number of acquirers out there," says Bart Schachter, managing director of Blueprint Ventures in San Francisco. "There's a vast gulf between what other acquirers might want to pay and what other acquirees might want to get -- that gap is now getting even wider. Companies like Yahoo, not to mention the old-time companies, can't afford these kind of prices." (See LR Ranks Video Sharing Sites.)

Yahoo chose not to comment for this story.

Even if Yahoo were game, there are not many media properties out there with the kind of traffic generated by YouTube. With YouTube in the fold, Google will control a 60 percent user market share in the video sharing market, according to Hitwise. "The deal gives Google a leg up versus Yahoo and MSN in online video, and paying 1 percent of Google’s market cap for leadership in an important online category is reasonable, in our view," writes Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. analyst Justin Post in a recent research note.

YouTube wasn't profitable, but its large audience spends an average of more than 20 minutes per visit, and that's a good thing for advertisers. The market for Internet video advertising, says eMarketer, is growing rapidly and will reach $640 million in 2007 and grow to $1.5 billion by 2009.

Some believe Yahoo will buy something in the video sharing space, even if no more traffic monsters like YouTube are available.

"It's more likely a buy than a build," says American Technology Research analyst Rob Sanderson of Yahoo's probable strategy. "Google is arguably a little better at bringing services to market organically. Yahoo down through the years has been more likely to bring things to market through acquisitions.

"Are they looking? Yeah, I'm sure they're looking at all kinds of things in this area," Sanderson says.

The rumor mill in Silicon Valley has been actively handicapping the next video sites to be sold. The names that come up most include MetaCafe, Heavy.com, and Guba.

Light Reading's readers, in a recent poll, say Blip.tv, Motionbox, and VideoEgg are all likely candidates for the taking. (See YouTube: Who's Next?)

Sanderson says Yahoo isn't feeling pressure to buy: "Is there a gun at their head to do a deal? Probably not; I don't think they feel that way."

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders talks with VMware's Shekar Ayyar, who explains why cloud architectures are becoming more distributed, what that means for workloads, and why telcos can still be significant cloud services players.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
I'm Back for the Future of Communications
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 4/20/2018
BDAC Blowback – Ex-Chair Arrested
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/17/2018
Verizon: Lack of Interoperability, Consistency Slows Automation
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/18/2018
AT&T Exec Dishes That He's Not So Hot on Rival-Partner Comcast
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/19/2018
Facebook Hearings Were the TIP of the Data Iceberg
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/20/2018
Animals with Phones
I Heard There Was a Dresscode... Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed