Perhaps there are good reasons why Microsoft should acquire Yahoo, but beating Google probably isn’t one of them. The reason is simple:

Microsoft and Yahoo have businesses that leverage the online network.

Google increasingly IS the network.

AdSense is the largest content network in the world, and Google’s search market share continues to accelerate (from Hitwise):


Yahoo and Microsoft/MSN are fundamentally Web 1.0 portals, and email is still the universal portal feature. But in an advertising-driven online business model world, email has little value itself — it’s all about driving traffic to more valuable content sections of the portal. But search, as Google has demonstrated, is an advertising goldmine — although Google AdWords is still a fare more efficient moneymaker than Yahoo’s Panama and Microsoft’s AdCenter.

Search is catching up to email as the top daily online activity (via Pew Internet & American Life Project):


DoubleClick extends Google’s control of the network — the DoubleClick’s Motif platform, like AdSense/AdWords, is a distributed platform for optimizing online rich media advertising…where everything passes through Google.

Everything passes through Google. How can Microsoft/Yahoo compete with that?