On takeovers going hostile

Google terms Microsoft’s $44.6 billion bid to acquire Yahoo as hostile, in its official blog.

The openness of the Internet is what made Google — and Yahoo! — possible. A good idea that users find useful spreads quickly. Businesses can be created around the idea. Users benefit from constant innovation. It’s what makes the Internet such an exciting place.

So Microsoft’s hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It’s about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation.

So what is a hostile takeover anyway?

When a bidder makes an offer for another company, it will usually inform the board of the target beforehand. If the board feels that the offer is such that the shareholders will be best served by accepting, it will recommend the offer be accepted by the shareholders. A takeover would be considered “hostile” if (1) the board rejects the offer, but the bidder continues to pursue it, or (2) if the bidder makes the offer without informing the board beforehand

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The business of Cricket

One was driven by the strength of the Indian economy, the purchasing power of its consuming middle class and the consequent and massive increase in the television revenues controlled by the BCCI. The Indian board became the paymaster of world cricket and cricket’s calendar became India-centric. This made other countries understandably uneasy and when incidents like the Sehwag controversy in South Africa provoked the BCCI to flex its muscles, Anglo-Australian commentators saw not an evolutionary shift in cricket’s centre of gravity, but a thuggish take over, while south Asian fans and journalists saw a western unwillingness to acknowledge the end of empire.

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