Citigroup's Mark Mahaney says Microsoft-Yahoo could confuse ad customers, hurt startups

Investor interview by John Shinal
February 28, 2008 last edited July 10, 2008
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Citigroup Internet analyst Mark Mahaney, who predicted in an interview with last week that Microsoft ultimately would succeed in acquiring Yahoo, tells us in this segment that the deal is likely to sow confusion among those two companies' ad customers.

Many of their advertisers will be wondering "who's my sales rep?" Mahaney says, because Microsoft is going to need to cut a lot of jobs to achieve the $1 billion in cost savings they've promised Wall Street from the deal.

That's likely to help Google add to its leading share of the search advertising market in the next 12 months, according to Mahaney, something we suggested when we first heard about the deal and explained more about two weeks ago.

The fact that the deal dance and any subsequent lengthy integration of Yahoo into Microsoft will distract both companies could also be a negative for online advertising startups that hope to get acquired, Mahaney says, echoing what business development exec Kourosh Karimkhany told's Bambi Francisco last week.