Friday, February 01, 2008

Yahoo+Microsoft - travel sites in the UK probably won't care too much

Clearly the biggest story kicking about today concerns Microsoft's "audacious" (or so says the MediaGuardian, which loves the hyperbole of it all) bid for Yahoo!.

Microhoo or YaSoft? Both sound rubbish.

A letter to the Yahoo! board last night proposed a £22.4 billion takeover of the company.

The Silicon Valley blogs are going crazy with excitement. [Excellent coverage of a Microsoft conference call]

From a search point of view you can see why the Americans can hardly contain themselves.

Yahoo share coupled with Microsoft's is around 33% of the market (Comscore), against Google's 58%, meaning it would certainly have a decent challenger in the US if the two combined.

In the UK, however, it would be a different story. Google currently commands between a 75% and 80% share of the market, depending on which measurement you use.

Nevertheless it completely dominates the search market here.

From a travel perspective I would hazard a guess that a takeover would hardly send digital marketers skipping happily into balmy sunset.

Almost everyone we have talked to in the past year or so has spoken admirably of Panama (YSM's search platform) and Microsoft's AdCenter - "but without the volumes there is not much point".

Where this proposed takeover might make a difference is in the area of portals.

Yahoo has a sizeable travel portal (and there's always Kelkoo!). Microsoft has the Live network.

Search plays a part in the all this, but I wonder if the takeover is more of a way of reaching consumers with other services.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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Claude said...

In France we have around the same Google market share (80 % , according to XITI)

At this time it's a "unsolicited proposal from Microsoft".

Travolution Blogger said...

Claude: what do you think the impact of a takeover would be in France?

Claude said...

I read an interesting view on KelBlog from Pierre Chapaz (former VP Europe at Yahoo and CEO of Wikio):

He talk about "Le mariage de la carpe et du lapin", or in english "Marriage of the carp and rabbit"

"Because the success of the future couple is questionable, as the culture of the two companies is different"

the post in french


Well,about a potential impact, could be interesting for the CPC and the small travel player.

exemple: Google Adwords in january for "paris hotel reservation" cost : €2.36 CPC

More competition could be good for the market