Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Yahoo's Heroic Stand Against MSFT - Give Me A Break...

Posted by Tom Foremski - February 17, 2008

Yahoo's management and board are trying to look like local heroes in their rejection of Microsoft's acquisition offer. Empty, face saving gestures, IMHO designed to distract from their despicable actions in China.

The recent death of Tom Lantos, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, removed one of Yahoo's fiercest critics. Here is a reminder from an SF Chronicle news story November 7, 2007.

“While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, said at the end of the three-hour hearing.
. . .
The hearing began with Yang, who immigrated from Taiwan at age 10, entering the hearing room and bowing and apologizing to the mother of journalist Shi Tao and the wife of Internet writer Wang Xiaoning. They received 10-year sentences after being identified with the help of information from Yahoo.

The act wasn’t enough for Lantos. He called on Yang and Yahoo chief counsel Michael Callahan to turn and face the dissidents’ families, seated in the front row, and plead for forgiveness.

“I would urge you to beg the forgiveness of the mother whose son is languishing behind bars thanks to Yahoo’s actions,” Lantos said. Shi’s mother, Gao Qin Shen, had tears in her eyes as the two executives complied.

All that police snitching was done to build shareholder value. Take a look at this extract from Jerry Yang's letter to shareholders explaining why MSFT's bid undervalues Yahoo.

We have the added value of our substantial, unconsolidated investments in Japan and China. We have substantial positions in Yahoo! Japan, the leader in its market, and Alibaba, which is strongly positioned in China, a market with enormous growth potential.
From: Uh oh. Yahoo’s Alibaba is antsy about Microsoft; Good luck getting to $40 a share

More here...

Yahoo! heroes instead of zeroes in stand against MSFT but not against Chinese repression

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