You know what I think? I think Apple should just buy DuckDuckGo and make it the default search engine on Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, Apple TV, and Siri’s go-to-guy for anything search related.
Such a bold move would put some sting into Microsoft and they deserve. It would also put a burn into Google and they deserve it. Such a modest purchase isn’t likely to happen but I’ll still be here to cheer when Apple does the deed. Or, Apple could do something stupid like buy Yahoo! Again.
Rumors as to what Apple should or should not buy with all those tens (maybe even hundreds by now) of billions of dollars come and go. Buy Adobe. Buy Japan. Buy France. No, scratch that. I’ve been to France. Even Apple can’t fix some of those problems.
And once or twice a year someone comes up with yet another list of reasons why Apple should buy Yahoo!, the company being run by the future Apple CEO, Marissa Mayer, an ex-Google-ite, and the most dazzling techno-buff CEO you’ll find this side of Sofía Vergara.
Apple will not buy Yahoo!
Why not? Apple can afford it, right? The word on the streets is that Yahoo!’s board of directors may want to sell the company’s core business, whatever that is. Yahoo! used to be a search engine but now it’s more of a media portal, a content site with lots of ads and a few hundred million email users. Apple has that already.
Microsoft almost bought Yahoo! back when it was overpriced about what it’s overpriced at right now. Mayer’s presence has helped Yahoo!’s stock price but not enough to satisfy rogue board members who salivate over Yahoo!’s most valuable asset (Mayer’s looks notwithstanding). Shares of Chinese giant Alibaba, shares of which are worth about what Yahoo! itself is worth, with or without Mayer.
Yes, Apple can afford to buy Yahoo! but Yahoo! is valued at nothing by Wall Street despite owning stock in another company, where said stock is about as valuable as Yahoo!’s current stock.
What would a purchase of Yahoo!, with or without Alibaba’s stock asset, do for Apple? If you thought spending $3-billion on Beats music was a bad deal, how would be feel about Apple spending more than $30-billion for Yahoo! Plenty. But it depends upon how crazy you think an already content crazed world would be if Apple owned a media portal and a place to create and distribute movies, music, TV shows that was not named iTunes. Yahoo! doesn’t make much money. But it doesn’t lose money, either. And a gazillion people visit Yahoo! everyday. Just like they do at the Apple Stores in China.
Yahoo!’s claim to fame is a long history with the public internet, and ,it’s inability to keep a CEO for more than a few years thanks mostly to a few members of the board of directors who think of themselves as heirs to Donald Trump’s west coast deal making family.
One analyst (and remember what four letters precede every analyst) thinks Yahoo’s core internet business, sans the stake in Alibaba, or the check Alibaba would give to Yahoo! in a stock buyback, is worth between $5-billion and $10-billion. Maybe so, maybe not, but in the end all Apple gets is a lot of eyeballs viewing a digital drivel machine producing large volumes of what is passed off as entertainment and information.
Spending billions and owning an anemic Yahoo! would reduce Apple’s brand value, but Marissa Mayer coming out as an heir apparent and spiritual leader to the world’s most loved company would be worth a few billion dollars. Amirite?