Microsoft and Yahoo may be close to agreeing on a deal that will end the drama between the two companies, which has been ongoing since Microsoft made its original $44.6 billion dollar offer in February. The original offer rocked the industry and caused waves of speculation about Yahoo's future. One of the biggest sticking points seems to be the "poison pill" measures that Yahoo has been adopting, including one that provides all employees with four to 24 months of severance in the case of acquisition-based layoffs.
Microsoft, Yahoo agree on buyout price (Infoworld April Fool's joke)
China, however, has added a new twist to the drama, passing an antitrust law that will make the world's most populous country a third regulatory hurdle to overcome, joining regulators in the United States and the European Union. Interestingly, China's first antitrust law took effect in 1993, the same year that the Redmond-based giant introduced itself to that country. The single biggest concern for Microsoft in China appears to be software piracy, with some estimating that 90% of the software there is pirated.
Microsoft's China Foibles (Forbes)
It seemed unlikely a month ago that Microsoft's takeover bid could have even more drama attached to it than it already had, but China's insertion of its new antitrust law appears to have done just that. The deal could be affected because of Yahoo's $1 billion dollar investment in Alibaba, China's largest e-commerce site. The new Chinese regulations will allow them to approve of the acquisition of any company with investments in Chinese ventures. Do you think that the Yahoo acquisition will pass muster with the three regulatory agencies?
[Author's Note] I apologize for any confusion arising from the first version of this blog, which I started writing at 5:30 a.m. in a somewhat zombified state. I did not have enough awareness at the time to realize that the Infoworld article linked above was an April Fool's joke and, unfortunately, I was today's fool. [/Note]
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