Information overload on Microsoft, Yahoo deal…

February 5, 2008

images1.jpegWhile it’s only Day 3 — at least as far as the SEC clock goes — since Microsoft (MSFT) announced its $44.6 billion desire to buy Yahoo (YHOO), the number of filings poring in is reaching a feverish pitch: 12 so far at Yahoo and 10 at Microsoft, though there’s some duplication there. Among the filings include employee emails, like this one that Microsoft sent to its employees shortly after the news broke last Friday and this one which Yahoo sent to its employees.

There was also an employee webcast transcript, a slideshow, and a conference call transcript — just on Friday. Monday’s crop of filings included another conference call transcript and another presentation from Microsoft called “Driving Shareholder Value”. In fact, the sheer amount of material kind of reminds me of what else is going on today: Super Tuesday, because the whole thing kind of resembles an aggressive campaign.

Meanwhile, while Google’s (GOOG), chief legal officer posted his own thoughts about the deal on Sunday, generating a significant amount of controversy, there’s been no corresponding filings from the company. At least not yet.

Even more interesting is that back in the spring, we footnoted about a hypothetical question that came up in a Google filing regarding the company’s “transferable stock option” program. Somehow, it doesn’t seem quite so hypothetical anymore.

UPDATE 2/6: Yahoo just filed another employee email a short time ago. Here’s the key part: “what’s become clear in the past few days is how much people care about this company. we’ve seen a strong show of support from our users, advertisers, and publishers, reminding us how much they love our products and services. and i’ve heard from many of you ‘ and from other friends and colleagues from around silicon valley and across the globe ‘ that we need to do what’s best for yahoo! and our shareholders. i promise you that the board is going to do that.” I’m not sure what the small I’s are all about — either stream of consciousness or chaneling e.e. cummings.

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