Despite Yahoo’s best efforts to become something fresh and new, the company remains every bit the “Web portal,” Wired writes. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that [CEO Marissa Mayer] is broadening, not narrowing, Yahoo’s scope, cementing its once passé reputation as the original internet ‘portal.’” What’s more, “Yahoo’s mission creep is a useful case study in why web companies like Google and Facebook continue to grow their functionality and why startups keep selling to the seemingly bloated leviathans.”
Leaving the door wide open for Google, Facebook is reportedly ditching efforts to buy social mapping service Waze. “The two companies [Facebook and Waze] had been in discussion for a potential acquisition, with a price tag that could have reached up to $1 billion,” AllThingsD reports. “But the talks dissolved in recent days, according to sources.” Google is also reportedly eying a Waze deal.
On behalf of all domestic content owners, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property has submitted a report to Congress, which proposed anti-piracy measures, including the use of “ransomware.” In a report, the Commission details, “how ‘IP theft’ worth ‘hundreds of billions of dollars per year’ hurts the US economy, and proposed measures for fighting it -- including the covert installation of spyware,” CNet reports.
Google isn’t out of the woods yet in Europe. EU regulators are expected to demand more concessions to end a three-year antitrust investigation into the search giant. “Last month, Google offered to label its own products in internet search results and make it easier for advertisers to move to rival platforms,” Reuters reports.
Perhaps in response to Yahoo’s Tumblr acquisition, Facebook is reportedly preparing its Notes blogging feature for a relaunch. “Signs say a [Notes] refresh may already be in the works,” TechCrunch reports. “It could help people express themselves, make Notes a legitimate competitor to Tumblr, and soften the blow of Facebook reportedly failing to buy Yahoo’s new baby.”
BuzzFeed today is expected to debut a YouTube channel based on content from CNN. “The announcement marks BuzzFeed’s latest effort to establish itself as a news source among 18-34 year olds, a demographic that advertisers are eager to reach through the Web,” The Wall Street Journal writes. “The partnership could also help CNN stay relevant with younger audiences.”
Despite its image as an innovator and a maverick, Google appears to be borrowing liberally from Amazon’s business strategy. That’s according to The Wall Street Journal, which counts the many ways in which the search giant has recently taken a page from Amazon’s playbook. “In the past year alone, Google has started at least three other services [along with a move in b2b sales] that take aim at Amazon operations, including corporate computing, same-day delivery and offering lockers for consumers to receive e-commerce orders.”
With Hulu hanging in the balance, the first round of bids were reportedly due this week for enviable video service. “An initial bid has been submitted by the Chernin Group, a next-generation media company founded by longtime News Corp. executive Peter Chernin, which is partnering with Providence Equity, according to several people familiar with the matter,” The Los Angeles Times reports. Meanwhile, “Guggenheim Digital Media, a group headed by former Yahoo Inc. interim Chief Executive Ross Levinsohn, also submitted a bid, say the people with knowledge of the situation.”
Once again, U.S. regulators are reportedly pursuing an antitrust probe into whether Google’s ad sales business is in anyway illegal. “The new line of inquiry focuses on tools acquired when Google bought display ad company Doubleclick in 2007,” Reuters reports, citing sources. “Other firms which specialize in helping Web publishers sell ads to put on their Web sites are complaining to the FTC, the source said.”
Threatening a bidding war, Google is said to be eying Waze -- that social driving app that Facebook was reportedly close to buying for $1 billion earlier this month. “Waze is fielding expressions of interest from multiple parties and is seeking more than $1 billion,” Bloomberg reports, citing sources. “The … startup might also remain independent, instead seeking to raise a round of venture capital financing, the people said.”