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Yahoo: Time to Reframe the Debate


Everybody thinks companies should focus on search. Everybody's wrong.

There's an old adage, when a debate is raging about a topic or when sentiment wanes and apathy sets in, it is time to reframe the debate.

Yahoo must reframe the debate about their business and the marketplace in general. Often times, when a company gets focused on an issue -- one with the magnitude of search that Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo (YHOO) have -- it's hard for a management team to step away from the issue and re frame the debate.

I've held my tongue on weighing in on the Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, AOL (TWX) debate that has raged for close to a year. I have many friends and associates at all of these companies, and I admire what they've done and have watched over -- in many instances with envy -- what they're capable of achieving.

I also have a vested interest in who the players are and where they're going - not just as a businessman, but as a personal investor. I have known Roy Bostock for most of my life, and I have worked in the interactive space since the beginning, so I think my perspective is valid.
Microsoft buying Yahoo is potentially one of the worst things that can happen to the market. AOL merging with Yahoo is one of the worst things that could ever happen to the interactive media space.

Here's an analogy: Microsoft buying Yahoo is analogous to ABC buying NBC; the same could be said about merging AOL with Yahoo - it's analogous to merging CBS and NBC. The fact is, Yahoo is the number one or 2 largest, highest traffic destinations online. Again: Yahoo is one of the largest media properties in the world.

Yahoo is a phenomenal platform, and the marketplace must stop obsessing over search. It's been this singular focus on search and Google's ability to frame this debate with a monstrous market cap and marketplace voice that has driven Yahoo to focus on the wrong thing - it's a classic case of misdirection.
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Position in YHOO
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