Around a year ago, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang turned down a bid by Microsoft to buy the search company at twice the per-share value that Yahoo trades at today. Around a month ago, Google took the battle into Microsoft’s home ground when it unveiled its new operating system. Then around a week ago, Bill Gates had told Mint that “Google’s honeymoon is coming to an end” and that it would soon become yet another “normal company”.
Microsoft and Yahoo finally teamed up on Wednesday to take on Google, though the latter company was not specifically mentioned—just like he-who-cannot-be-named Lord Voldermort in the Harry Potter novels, said one caustic commentator.
There are several sobering lessons here. One, Yang did not see the writing on the wall that his company would eventually have to be folded into a bigger entity such as Microsoft. Two, Gates’ claim that Google is just another normal company rings hollow. Three, regulators will have to ask themselves whether the online pie has now been divided between two giants.