Yahoo unfazed by AOL Time Warner

Industry speculation predicts a spree of media convergence to follow in the footsteps of the AOL Time Warner deal, but Yahoo has no such plans.

In light of the pending merger, a Yahoo spokesperson said it would be a mistake for the company to alter its existing multi-partner strategy.

"We don't see any changes to our strategy that would lock us up with just one partner," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said such a deal would "diminish Yahoo's position with consumers around the country and the world", because the company was seen as an "independent communications, commerce and media platform."

IDC analyst Graham Penn agreed it would be risky for Yahoo to try and emulate the AOL/Time Warner deal.

"Being a single-strategy company, Yahoo may find itself much easier to manage than a conglomerate with the conflicting agendas that AOL and Time Warner will have. Size does not mean everything. What Yahoo are doing may be a wise decision," Penn said.

"The AOL Time Warner deal will put pressure on their competitors around the world to emulate them. The other companies may be better off staying where they are rather than rushing to emulate what AOL and Time Warner have done."

Internet company Yahoo holds non-exclusive partnerships with content providers including ABC News, Fairfax, Lonely Planet, Reed Publishing and Reuters.

Yahoo this week posted annual net revenues of $588.6 million for fiscal 1999, up 140 per cent from 1998. The company's global audience is now around 120 million, including around 40 million users outside the US.

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Byron Kaye

PC World
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