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No more Micro-hoo

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Yesterday, Microsoft withdrew its bid to buy Yahoo. Now that the deal has fallen through, the past three months kinda seem like a silly game of Ping-Pong – with the press watching anxiously as the ball zipped back and further.

First, Microsoft surprises everyone with a $44.6-billion unsolicited offer to buy the rival Internet firm. Ping! Yahoo rejects the bid and starts shopping around for other offers. Pong! The software giant threatens a hostile takeover. Ping! Yahoo pleads with stockholders to stand strong. Pong! Microsoft ups the offer to $47.5 billion, about a 70 percent premium on the original stock price. Ping! Yahoo demands $53 billion. Pong!

Now that the game’s over, who won? Some analysts are suggesting the winner is Google.

After all, everything online revolves around how many people cruise through your site – and therefore look at the ads. Google still grabs about 65 percent of search engine hits. Yahoo attracts 21 percent. Microsoft only gets 9 percent.

But Yahoo has something that Microsoft has had a hard time capturing: Flickr, del.icio.us, Yahoo Games, Yahoo Music, and all of the other branches of the Yahoo family tree that are ripe for advertisements. Similarly, Google has Gmail, Blogger, YouTube, Google Maps, etc.

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