There has been a lot of buzz about Alibaba lately. Their upcoming IPO is set to make a few people billionaires and many more millionaires. It may in fact be the biggest IPO ever in recent history. Analysts estimate the company is worth between $136 to $250 Billion. Within technology companies this puts Alibaba’s worth below Apple, Google and Microsoft and on the lower end, just under Facebook and Qualcomm. For those not familiar with Alibaba, it is the Chinese version of Google, Amazon, Ebay, and Youtube combined. Among its early investors include Japanese based Softbank and Yahoo. Softbank CEO and founder Masayoshi Son recently bought Sprint in the United States and is looking to also acquire T-Mobile. Son was an early investor Yahoo and owns the majority of Yahoo Japan. Son was instrumental in also convincing Yahoo to invest in Alibaba. In 2005 Yahoo invested $1 billion in Alibaba for ...

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Yahoo has changed significantly since Marissa Mayer took over the company.  In fact before she became CEO, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had a deal with then interim CEO Ross Levinsohn wherein Yahoo would turn over its entire search business — patents and all — in exchange for Microsoft’s large online media property, MSN.com, and long-term, guaranteed cash payments.  Within 24 hours of hearing the deal Mayer killed it and fired the executive who had spent months negotiating it.   A few months later rumors came about that Mayer had met with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to discuss the possibility of partnering to create a search engine. Some time later Mayer tried to slow the rollout of its search deal with Microsoft.  Court filings showed Mayer questioned Microsoft’s commitment.  A U.S. judge ended up ruling that Yahoo must adopt Microsoft’s search technology in Taiwan and Hong Kong under their partnership.  Mayer ...

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Given some of Marrissa Mayers recent comments about the Yahoo/Bing search alliance, you may have believed that the money Yahoo was receiving from Microsoft amounted to a rounding error on the accountant’s spreadsheet.  But perception does not appear to be in line with reality as it was revealed today that the revenue from Microsoft accounted for nearly 1/3 of Yahoo’s revenue last quarter! I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that is much more than anyone expected.  Yahoo reported that it had $1.139 billion in revenue last quarter (GAAP), which means Microsoft gave Yahoo around $353 million as part of the search alliance. Yahoo agreed to disclose more details on its revenue tied to search and display advertising after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent letters to the company asking for clarification.  The company outlined the portion of revenue it gets from a search agreement with ...

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You may remember almost two years ago then president of PayPal, Scott Thompson, agreed to become CEO of Yahoo.  It turns out he had some factual inaccuracies on his resume, including not actually having obtained a degree in computer science.  This controversy led to him resigning and Ross Levinsohn was named interim CEO.  Levinson truly believed he would be named permanent CEO, and as it turns out he would have been if not for Marissa Mayer. However, in the time Levinson was CEO of Yahoo, he put together a radical plan for the company and started to implement it at full speed.  BI reports: Levinsohn walked into the room; all of his top executives followed. There was Jim Heckman, Levinsohn’s top dealmaker, who’d spent months negotiating a huge deal with Microsoft Levinsohn told the board that, under his direction, Heckman had begun negotiating a deal with Microsoft to exchange Yahoo’s ...

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