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Read my commentary on China’s copyright-free tech world on the blog.

MICROSOFT is looking to revive a deal with YAHOO. However, the transaction is likely not be a total acquisition, rather a deal that could bring Microsoft search ads alongside Yahoo’s search results. The deal could be a way for Microsoft to break further into the search ads business, which GOOGLE currently dominates. A similar Google-Yahoo deal has been on-and-off the table recently, but with the two companies comprising nearly 80% of the search ads business, a deal is likely not to pass FCC regulation. A Microsoft-Yahoo search ads deal could help Microsoft disrupt Google’s ad dominance, while expanding its own presence online and bolstering Yahoo’s cash flow. The saga continues.

The AOL-BEBO acquisition for $850 million is now official, two months after the deal became public. AOL announced that it will unite Bebo with AIM, ICQ and other AOL community initiatives to form PEOPLE NETWORKS. AOL’s PLATFORM-A will run the advertising for the venture, which YAHOO, who holds the advertising rights for Bebo in the UK, Ireland and Australia, had hoped to acquire. Yahoo’s international ad contract will expire in 2009 and is not expected to be renewed, in favor of Platform-A.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that ELECTRONIC ARTS may extend its bid for TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE another four weeks after their previous bid expired Friday. EA’s offer of $25.74/share has been on the table for a month, yet Take-Two shareholders are holding out for a higher price. Take-Two’s stock is currently at $27.10, a number contributed to the massive initial success of Grand Theft Auto 4.

Amid reports that MICROSOFT is in talks to acquire FACEBOOK, CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized the social network’s independence. While Microsoft owns a $240 million share in Facebook and has the exclusive third party rights to advertising on the social network, Zuckerberg remained steadfast in his vision of an independent Facebook. After recently taking on a $100 million in debt to help finance a server upgrade, it is unlikely that the social network will sell out any time soon, in favor of building its IPO.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.



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