D: All Things Digital's Kara Swisher has a nice insidery account of a meeting various Yahoo executives apparently had Thursday with Chief Executive Jerry Yang. The upshot: they (and various other Yahoo employees she said she spoke to) have mixed feelings about being subsumed by Microsoft but recoil at the prospect of acquiring AOL.
The employees she surveyed think Time Warner's AOL is "slow-moving, weak in technology, and saddled with a largely dispirited staff," Swisher said. (Unsurprisingly, that assessment is the polar opposite of that from AOL CEO Randy Falco, who pondered AOL's appeal to others in a memo to employees.)
Swisher quoted one Yahoo executive as saying, "We have enough problems without getting theirs, which are much worse." And another juicy sound bite: "Microsoft would not be my first choice...but AOL is not even my third."
One deal reported to be in the works at Yahoo, as it seeks to counter Microsoft's takeover attempt, is the acquisition of AOL, minus its dial-up business. As part of the deal, Time Warner would pay for a stake in Yahoo, funds Yahoo would use to buy back its shares.
Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Chris Di Bona thinks the AOL-Yahoo scenario is plausible, if Time Waner invests $2 billion and the combined AOL-Yahoo company produces $500 million in revenue the companies lacked on their own.