Doubleclick turned down Microsoft money?

John Battelle reports that Microsoft was actually offering more money than Google was for Doubleclick and that Doubleclick went with Google anyway.

I heard the same things about Flickr. Rumors are that Flickr’s owners turned down AOL’s money, instead going for a lower amount from Yahoo. I never confirmed those rumors, but they were pretty consistent at the time.

Why would a company do that?

I can think of a few reasons.

1) Better cultural fit. I’ve seen that some employees are real jerks during negotiations and can sour a suitor on that person’s company.
2) Better reputation of main company. If you were a baseball player would you rather play for the New York Yankees or the Chicago Cubs? Especially if your goal is to win the World Series?
3) Better deal for employees. Free lunches? More stock options? Fewer relocations? Fewer potential layoffs?
4) Better business deal long term (stock price of one company might have more upside, for instance, which would sweeten the potential deal longterm).
5) More influence in industry by going with one company (one company might offer founders better positions, or more trips with corporate founders, etc).
6) Founders might like location of one company’s headquarters better than others (Silicon Valley offers techies a lot more economic opportunities than Seattle does, for instance, not to mention better weather).

Can you think of some reasons?

Oh, and John’s interview of Microsoft’s main lawyer is real interesting too. Especially the justifications for asking the DOJ to get involved in the deal.

I wonder when we’ll see an in-game advertising engine for Xbox? Probably not until after the DOJ gets involved, huh? Might remind folks that Microsoft still has billions of dollars in advertising revenues.

Comments

  1. Robert, you listed some great points to be considered besides the dollar amount before accepting a bid. But these points do not apply in the particular case of Doubleclick choosing Google between Google and Microsoft. I will love to see a longer list of guesses to increase my learning in general.

    Disclaimer: The commentator is a Principal Researcher in Microsoft with no direct knowledge of the related events besides what reported in the media.

  2. Robert, you listed some great points to be considered besides the dollar amount before accepting a bid. But these points do not apply in the particular case of Doubleclick choosing Google between Google and Microsoft. I will love to see a longer list of guesses to increase my learning in general.

    Disclaimer: The commentator is a Principal Researcher in Microsoft with no direct knowledge of the related events besides what reported in the media.

  3. Robert, you listed some great points to be considered besides the dollar amount before accepting a bid. But these points do not apply in the particular case of Doubleclick choosing Google between Google and Microsoft. I will love to see a longer list of guesses to increase my learning in general.

    Disclaimer: The commentator is a Principal Researcher in Microsoft with no direct knowledge of the related events besides what reported in the media.

  4. Kamal: why wouldn’t these apply in the DoubleClick case? I’d like to know your thoughts there.

    Maybe they wouldn’t need to integrate into the parent company, or wouldn’t need to relocate, or wouldn’t have to lay off any employees (all three of those almost always happen in acquisitions, though). Well, if that were true, they’d still think about which company could help them out the most. There I’d think that Google is a far better fit because Google has a huge lead in contextual advertising and does almost no banner advertising, while Microsoft does a lot of banner advertising but is way behind in contextual advertising.

  5. Kamal: why wouldn’t these apply in the DoubleClick case? I’d like to know your thoughts there.

    Maybe they wouldn’t need to integrate into the parent company, or wouldn’t need to relocate, or wouldn’t have to lay off any employees (all three of those almost always happen in acquisitions, though). Well, if that were true, they’d still think about which company could help them out the most. There I’d think that Google is a far better fit because Google has a huge lead in contextual advertising and does almost no banner advertising, while Microsoft does a lot of banner advertising but is way behind in contextual advertising.

  6. Kamal: why wouldn’t these apply in the DoubleClick case? I’d like to know your thoughts there.

    Maybe they wouldn’t need to integrate into the parent company, or wouldn’t need to relocate, or wouldn’t have to lay off any employees (all three of those almost always happen in acquisitions, though). Well, if that were true, they’d still think about which company could help them out the most. There I’d think that Google is a far better fit because Google has a huge lead in contextual advertising and does almost no banner advertising, while Microsoft does a lot of banner advertising but is way behind in contextual advertising.

  7. 7) Microsoft is dead.

    No just kidding. Well, not really. It’s like Star Wars. DoubleClick simply didn’t want to join the dark side. Microsoft still carries the stench of evil.

  8. 7) Microsoft is dead.

    No just kidding. Well, not really. It’s like Star Wars. DoubleClick simply didn’t want to join the dark side. Microsoft still carries the stench of evil.

  9. 7) Microsoft is dead.

    No just kidding. Well, not really. It’s like Star Wars. DoubleClick simply didn’t want to join the dark side. Microsoft still carries the stench of evil.

  10. Seeing as how Doubleclick was owned by an equity house who were no doubty looking to maximise return on their investment, I find it hard to understand how any of your points could apply.

    1) Better cultural fit – well, this would be an issue for the acquiring company in this case, not the seller.
    2) Better reputation of main company – why would the equity house care after the sale?
    3) Better deal for employees – maybe equity houses do actually have hearts?
    4) Better business deal long term – if it was a stock deal this would be the key issue, but I think this was a cash deal?
    5) More influence in industry by going with one company – not relevant in this case.

    Unless I misunderstood something – there would be no founders owning any part of Doubleclick. This is just a financial transaction. So you’d think the equity house would take the highest credible bid. So maybe Microsoft did bid, but I would assume their bid was either lower or not credible.
    6) Founders might like location of one company’s headquarters better than others – not relevant in this case.

  11. Seeing as how Doubleclick was owned by an equity house who were no doubty looking to maximise return on their investment, I find it hard to understand how any of your points could apply.

    1) Better cultural fit – well, this would be an issue for the acquiring company in this case, not the seller.
    2) Better reputation of main company – why would the equity house care after the sale?
    3) Better deal for employees – maybe equity houses do actually have hearts?
    4) Better business deal long term – if it was a stock deal this would be the key issue, but I think this was a cash deal?
    5) More influence in industry by going with one company – not relevant in this case.

    Unless I misunderstood something – there would be no founders owning any part of Doubleclick. This is just a financial transaction. So you’d think the equity house would take the highest credible bid. So maybe Microsoft did bid, but I would assume their bid was either lower or not credible.
    6) Founders might like location of one company’s headquarters better than others – not relevant in this case.

  12. Seeing as how Doubleclick was owned by an equity house who were no doubty looking to maximise return on their investment, I find it hard to understand how any of your points could apply.

    1) Better cultural fit – well, this would be an issue for the acquiring company in this case, not the seller.
    2) Better reputation of main company – why would the equity house care after the sale?
    3) Better deal for employees – maybe equity houses do actually have hearts?
    4) Better business deal long term – if it was a stock deal this would be the key issue, but I think this was a cash deal?
    5) More influence in industry by going with one company – not relevant in this case.

    Unless I misunderstood something – there would be no founders owning any part of Doubleclick. This is just a financial transaction. So you’d think the equity house would take the highest credible bid. So maybe Microsoft did bid, but I would assume their bid was either lower or not credible.
    6) Founders might like location of one company’s headquarters better than others – not relevant in this case.

  13. I was about to accept your reasons, but after reading Battelle I agree with Ivan, the things that could be important for a founder are completly different that the equity firms.

    We need to go deep and try to find the real reason if, as you are saying, the MS offer was bigger.

  14. I was about to accept your reasons, but after reading Battelle I agree with Ivan, the things that could be important for a founder are completly different that the equity firms.

    We need to go deep and try to find the real reason if, as you are saying, the MS offer was bigger.

  15. I was about to accept your reasons, but after reading Battelle I agree with Ivan, the things that could be important for a founder are completly different that the equity firms.

    We need to go deep and try to find the real reason if, as you are saying, the MS offer was bigger.

  16. Not sure what actually happened… but John mentions a “No shop” deal was involved.

    The point is: any time there is a bidding war for a company, at some point the sellers have to decide to move forward with one of the interested parties.

    So, it’s not inconceivable that when the Doubleclick shareholders were happy with the offer on the table from Google, they might have entered into a No Shop deal with Google (essentially saying, “We won’t go back to Microsoft to see if they want to up their bid”) in return for “something else” they really wanted. That “something else” could be almost anything…

  17. Not sure what actually happened… but John mentions a “No shop” deal was involved.

    The point is: any time there is a bidding war for a company, at some point the sellers have to decide to move forward with one of the interested parties.

    So, it’s not inconceivable that when the Doubleclick shareholders were happy with the offer on the table from Google, they might have entered into a No Shop deal with Google (essentially saying, “We won’t go back to Microsoft to see if they want to up their bid”) in return for “something else” they really wanted. That “something else” could be almost anything…

  18. Not sure what actually happened… but John mentions a “No shop” deal was involved.

    The point is: any time there is a bidding war for a company, at some point the sellers have to decide to move forward with one of the interested parties.

    So, it’s not inconceivable that when the Doubleclick shareholders were happy with the offer on the table from Google, they might have entered into a No Shop deal with Google (essentially saying, “We won’t go back to Microsoft to see if they want to up their bid”) in return for “something else” they really wanted. That “something else” could be almost anything…

  19. I’ve been trying to use XDrive, acquired by AOL.

    First, it required me to have and use an AOL screen name and mail. I had one and did that. Then, AOL canceled my screen name without explanation, after 5 years of everyday use. Coincidence? Who knows.

    Anyway, that meant that my data on XDrive was no longer accessible. Luckily I was still just experimenting and did not lose anything critical. I got a new screen name, and guess what — yep, canceled the next day, again making my data inaccessible.

    So, I got a third screen name, only now AOL won’t let me use my main e-mail address, the one I’ve had for over 10 years. This time I canceled XDrive and uninstalled the client. I’ve kept the new screen name now for a week with no trouble. Coincidence?

    If AOL can arbitrarily cancel my screen name and make my data go away, can I trust them with my data? Worse, XDrive itself seems to be making my screen names go away.

    Conclusion– AOL has destroyed XDrive as a useful tool. Would YOU want YOUR company and tools to suffer that fate?!

  20. I’ve been trying to use XDrive, acquired by AOL.

    First, it required me to have and use an AOL screen name and mail. I had one and did that. Then, AOL canceled my screen name without explanation, after 5 years of everyday use. Coincidence? Who knows.

    Anyway, that meant that my data on XDrive was no longer accessible. Luckily I was still just experimenting and did not lose anything critical. I got a new screen name, and guess what — yep, canceled the next day, again making my data inaccessible.

    So, I got a third screen name, only now AOL won’t let me use my main e-mail address, the one I’ve had for over 10 years. This time I canceled XDrive and uninstalled the client. I’ve kept the new screen name now for a week with no trouble. Coincidence?

    If AOL can arbitrarily cancel my screen name and make my data go away, can I trust them with my data? Worse, XDrive itself seems to be making my screen names go away.

    Conclusion– AOL has destroyed XDrive as a useful tool. Would YOU want YOUR company and tools to suffer that fate?!

  21. I’ve been trying to use XDrive, acquired by AOL.

    First, it required me to have and use an AOL screen name and mail. I had one and did that. Then, AOL canceled my screen name without explanation, after 5 years of everyday use. Coincidence? Who knows.

    Anyway, that meant that my data on XDrive was no longer accessible. Luckily I was still just experimenting and did not lose anything critical. I got a new screen name, and guess what — yep, canceled the next day, again making my data inaccessible.

    So, I got a third screen name, only now AOL won’t let me use my main e-mail address, the one I’ve had for over 10 years. This time I canceled XDrive and uninstalled the client. I’ve kept the new screen name now for a week with no trouble. Coincidence?

    If AOL can arbitrarily cancel my screen name and make my data go away, can I trust them with my data? Worse, XDrive itself seems to be making my screen names go away.

    Conclusion– AOL has destroyed XDrive as a useful tool. Would YOU want YOUR company and tools to suffer that fate?!

  22. How about fair play/objectiveness – or whatever the word is I want.

    Would DoubleClick think that Microsoft could act objectively or would DoubleClick become a MS products vehicle, or at least certainly skewed significantly in its favor?

    I’m not saying Google don’t have products to sell and wouldn’t exploit DoubleClick to do so, but MS doesn’t exactly have a good track record of fair play and they are a much more significant player in the computer market. (Afterall, Google is still replaceable, MS isn’t – oops! that might fire up some folks! So I better say, if tommorow Google ceased to exist, there’d be massive repercussions, with huge finacial costs. If MS ceased to exist tomorrow, the cost of seeking other solutions would plunge the Western world into financial disaster it would take decades to recover from.)

    How would have MS’s competitors felt if MS had won DoubleClick? Very nervous I imagine.

  23. How about fair play/objectiveness – or whatever the word is I want.

    Would DoubleClick think that Microsoft could act objectively or would DoubleClick become a MS products vehicle, or at least certainly skewed significantly in its favor?

    I’m not saying Google don’t have products to sell and wouldn’t exploit DoubleClick to do so, but MS doesn’t exactly have a good track record of fair play and they are a much more significant player in the computer market. (Afterall, Google is still replaceable, MS isn’t – oops! that might fire up some folks! So I better say, if tommorow Google ceased to exist, there’d be massive repercussions, with huge finacial costs. If MS ceased to exist tomorrow, the cost of seeking other solutions would plunge the Western world into financial disaster it would take decades to recover from.)

    How would have MS’s competitors felt if MS had won DoubleClick? Very nervous I imagine.

  24. How about fair play/objectiveness – or whatever the word is I want.

    Would DoubleClick think that Microsoft could act objectively or would DoubleClick become a MS products vehicle, or at least certainly skewed significantly in its favor?

    I’m not saying Google don’t have products to sell and wouldn’t exploit DoubleClick to do so, but MS doesn’t exactly have a good track record of fair play and they are a much more significant player in the computer market. (Afterall, Google is still replaceable, MS isn’t – oops! that might fire up some folks! So I better say, if tommorow Google ceased to exist, there’d be massive repercussions, with huge finacial costs. If MS ceased to exist tomorrow, the cost of seeking other solutions would plunge the Western world into financial disaster it would take decades to recover from.)

    How would have MS’s competitors felt if MS had won DoubleClick? Very nervous I imagine.

  25. Is it just me or isn’t it a little strange to have Microsoft legal in the form of Brad Smith calling around to journalists trying to sway public opinion on all of this? Don’t they have other “departments” to do that sort of thing?

    Has anyone thought of the possibility that had Microsoft won the bidding then there most certainly WOULD have been an antitrust issue, and without any prompting from Google?

    Google is not a convicted monopolist, nor do they dominate search in the same way that Microsoft dominates the desktop. Microsoft would have done everyone a big favor, including their investors, had they voluntarily split the company into separate OS and Applications companies. Still not too late for that move either, but as Microsoft continues to lose mindshare the benefits diminish.

    Maybe Microsoft legal meddled a bit too much in the negotiations and now they have a guilty conscience, aka fear of the next re-org. After all, they DID lose the antitrust suit, it was only sloppy sentencing that got them off the hook. And now with everyone re-evaluating DRM, MS selling copies of Windows for $3 there sin’t much for MS legal to do other than work out cross licensing issues for patents. Must be hell.

    As Eric Schmidt said in this interview:

    http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2007-04-21-n35.html

    Google promises not to lock users data into their products. To me that has become the number one feature of any software I use.

    While there is always reason to be skeptical when a vendor makes such a promise, we don’t have to be skeptical if Microsoft were to make such a promise (which they haven’t to my knowledge), we only have to look at their history: With almost every product, with every press release, with every membership on any standards body Microsoft’s goal even beyond a desire to have the best products is to make it difficult if not impossible to use competing products side by side with monoliths such as Office and Exchange.

    As someone already pointed out, I doubt that the sellers in this case really care what Microsoft’s evil intent might have been, but the US Justice department might have, and that would have held up them getting their money.

    There is relatively little merit in challenging the Google buy however, so this sale will sail (hehe) through by comparison to what would have happened if MS had won the bidding.

  26. Is it just me or isn’t it a little strange to have Microsoft legal in the form of Brad Smith calling around to journalists trying to sway public opinion on all of this? Don’t they have other “departments” to do that sort of thing?

    Has anyone thought of the possibility that had Microsoft won the bidding then there most certainly WOULD have been an antitrust issue, and without any prompting from Google?

    Google is not a convicted monopolist, nor do they dominate search in the same way that Microsoft dominates the desktop. Microsoft would have done everyone a big favor, including their investors, had they voluntarily split the company into separate OS and Applications companies. Still not too late for that move either, but as Microsoft continues to lose mindshare the benefits diminish.

    Maybe Microsoft legal meddled a bit too much in the negotiations and now they have a guilty conscience, aka fear of the next re-org. After all, they DID lose the antitrust suit, it was only sloppy sentencing that got them off the hook. And now with everyone re-evaluating DRM, MS selling copies of Windows for $3 there sin’t much for MS legal to do other than work out cross licensing issues for patents. Must be hell.

    As Eric Schmidt said in this interview:

    http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2007-04-21-n35.html

    Google promises not to lock users data into their products. To me that has become the number one feature of any software I use.

    While there is always reason to be skeptical when a vendor makes such a promise, we don’t have to be skeptical if Microsoft were to make such a promise (which they haven’t to my knowledge), we only have to look at their history: With almost every product, with every press release, with every membership on any standards body Microsoft’s goal even beyond a desire to have the best products is to make it difficult if not impossible to use competing products side by side with monoliths such as Office and Exchange.

    As someone already pointed out, I doubt that the sellers in this case really care what Microsoft’s evil intent might have been, but the US Justice department might have, and that would have held up them getting their money.

    There is relatively little merit in challenging the Google buy however, so this sale will sail (hehe) through by comparison to what would have happened if MS had won the bidding.

  27. Is it just me or isn’t it a little strange to have Microsoft legal in the form of Brad Smith calling around to journalists trying to sway public opinion on all of this? Don’t they have other “departments” to do that sort of thing?

    Has anyone thought of the possibility that had Microsoft won the bidding then there most certainly WOULD have been an antitrust issue, and without any prompting from Google?

    Google is not a convicted monopolist, nor do they dominate search in the same way that Microsoft dominates the desktop. Microsoft would have done everyone a big favor, including their investors, had they voluntarily split the company into separate OS and Applications companies. Still not too late for that move either, but as Microsoft continues to lose mindshare the benefits diminish.

    Maybe Microsoft legal meddled a bit too much in the negotiations and now they have a guilty conscience, aka fear of the next re-org. After all, they DID lose the antitrust suit, it was only sloppy sentencing that got them off the hook. And now with everyone re-evaluating DRM, MS selling copies of Windows for $3 there sin’t much for MS legal to do other than work out cross licensing issues for patents. Must be hell.

    As Eric Schmidt said in this interview:

    http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2007-04-21-n35.html

    Google promises not to lock users data into their products. To me that has become the number one feature of any software I use.

    While there is always reason to be skeptical when a vendor makes such a promise, we don’t have to be skeptical if Microsoft were to make such a promise (which they haven’t to my knowledge), we only have to look at their history: With almost every product, with every press release, with every membership on any standards body Microsoft’s goal even beyond a desire to have the best products is to make it difficult if not impossible to use competing products side by side with monoliths such as Office and Exchange.

    As someone already pointed out, I doubt that the sellers in this case really care what Microsoft’s evil intent might have been, but the US Justice department might have, and that would have held up them getting their money.

    There is relatively little merit in challenging the Google buy however, so this sale will sail (hehe) through by comparison to what would have happened if MS had won the bidding.

  28. Microsoft is going to be SOL in advertising unless they pull off some new innovative stuff that makes money. They need more thinkers and less project managers working for them.

  29. Microsoft is going to be SOL in advertising unless they pull off some new innovative stuff that makes money. They need more thinkers and less project managers working for them.

  30. Microsoft is going to be SOL in advertising unless they pull off some new innovative stuff that makes money. They need more thinkers and less project managers working for them.

  31. what are the exact terms of the deal? Is stock involved? If so, getting your hands on shares of Goog seems like a better deal than MSFT. Even if the value is more today, assuming an immediate sale of stock, the long term interest of the DoubleClick investors is maximized by the GOOG deal. And that’s what matters during an acquisition – maximizing the value for your investors.

  32. what are the exact terms of the deal? Is stock involved? If so, getting your hands on shares of Goog seems like a better deal than MSFT. Even if the value is more today, assuming an immediate sale of stock, the long term interest of the DoubleClick investors is maximized by the GOOG deal. And that’s what matters during an acquisition – maximizing the value for your investors.

  33. what are the exact terms of the deal? Is stock involved? If so, getting your hands on shares of Goog seems like a better deal than MSFT. Even if the value is more today, assuming an immediate sale of stock, the long term interest of the DoubleClick investors is maximized by the GOOG deal. And that’s what matters during an acquisition – maximizing the value for your investors.

  34. This is likely pure hogwash in regards to Doubleclick.

    Doubleclick is owned by a private equity firm, those firm’s have one goal – maximizing ROI upon disposal of investment. Unless someone from the private equity firm is quoted as saying it(which is highly unlikely), it’s likely not true.

  35. This is likely pure hogwash in regards to Doubleclick.

    Doubleclick is owned by a private equity firm, those firm’s have one goal – maximizing ROI upon disposal of investment. Unless someone from the private equity firm is quoted as saying it(which is highly unlikely), it’s likely not true.

  36. This is likely pure hogwash in regards to Doubleclick.

    Doubleclick is owned by a private equity firm, those firm’s have one goal – maximizing ROI upon disposal of investment. Unless someone from the private equity firm is quoted as saying it(which is highly unlikely), it’s likely not true.

  37. Robert, All the reasons you list would make sense if the founders or executive team were making the decision. In this case the money guys at the H&F private equity firm were making the decision.

    John Batelle doesn’t have any facts on the situation…just speculation. I wouldn’t take it as fact that DoubleClick was offered more by Microsoft and that they turned it down. There is no verification, and personally I doubt it.

    Simon Brocklehurst probably got it right…the No Shop clause shut off further higher bids…and Google paid extra cash to get it.

    Another possibility is a stock versus cash offer. Even though the stock might be worth the same or more…cash is king…even a smaller amount of cash.

    These things are never as simple as they appear, and none of us have the facts.

  38. Robert, All the reasons you list would make sense if the founders or executive team were making the decision. In this case the money guys at the H&F private equity firm were making the decision.

    John Batelle doesn’t have any facts on the situation…just speculation. I wouldn’t take it as fact that DoubleClick was offered more by Microsoft and that they turned it down. There is no verification, and personally I doubt it.

    Simon Brocklehurst probably got it right…the No Shop clause shut off further higher bids…and Google paid extra cash to get it.

    Another possibility is a stock versus cash offer. Even though the stock might be worth the same or more…cash is king…even a smaller amount of cash.

    These things are never as simple as they appear, and none of us have the facts.

  39. Robert, All the reasons you list would make sense if the founders or executive team were making the decision. In this case the money guys at the H&F private equity firm were making the decision.

    John Batelle doesn’t have any facts on the situation…just speculation. I wouldn’t take it as fact that DoubleClick was offered more by Microsoft and that they turned it down. There is no verification, and personally I doubt it.

    Simon Brocklehurst probably got it right…the No Shop clause shut off further higher bids…and Google paid extra cash to get it.

    Another possibility is a stock versus cash offer. Even though the stock might be worth the same or more…cash is king…even a smaller amount of cash.

    These things are never as simple as they appear, and none of us have the facts.

  40. “Can you think of some reasons?”

    There is only ever one single reason when dealing with big business, and that reason is money. It may not be a cash reward for the buy out, but google is giving them more income in other ways most likely.

    http://www.freemyspace.com/

    Remember when the ex-CEO Brad Greenspan had made a HIGHER offer than Newscorp to buy out the Intermix/Myspace. They had rejected it and took the LOWER offer price per share from Newscorp anyway.

    Why?
    It turned out they had done some very unsavory things and Newscorp agreed to shield them from litigation in the deal.

    There are other notable examples of this, namely the Novell-Microsoft patent deal, where they were offered exclusivity, only to have it ripped away by Ballmer 2 days before closing the deal, when it was too late and they were strapped for cash.

    -

    The point is, an upfront stock buy is rarely the only monetary factor in a deal. The 6 reasons you listed, I think are rather irrelevant. It has to be money, or something that leads to money being gained or lost directly. Like legal protection or a stock gain.

  41. “Can you think of some reasons?”

    There is only ever one single reason when dealing with big business, and that reason is money. It may not be a cash reward for the buy out, but google is giving them more income in other ways most likely.

    http://www.freemyspace.com/

    Remember when the ex-CEO Brad Greenspan had made a HIGHER offer than Newscorp to buy out the Intermix/Myspace. They had rejected it and took the LOWER offer price per share from Newscorp anyway.

    Why?
    It turned out they had done some very unsavory things and Newscorp agreed to shield them from litigation in the deal.

    There are other notable examples of this, namely the Novell-Microsoft patent deal, where they were offered exclusivity, only to have it ripped away by Ballmer 2 days before closing the deal, when it was too late and they were strapped for cash.

    -

    The point is, an upfront stock buy is rarely the only monetary factor in a deal. The 6 reasons you listed, I think are rather irrelevant. It has to be money, or something that leads to money being gained or lost directly. Like legal protection or a stock gain.

  42. “Can you think of some reasons?”

    There is only ever one single reason when dealing with big business, and that reason is money. It may not be a cash reward for the buy out, but google is giving them more income in other ways most likely.

    http://www.freemyspace.com/

    Remember when the ex-CEO Brad Greenspan had made a HIGHER offer than Newscorp to buy out the Intermix/Myspace. They had rejected it and took the LOWER offer price per share from Newscorp anyway.

    Why?
    It turned out they had done some very unsavory things and Newscorp agreed to shield them from litigation in the deal.

    There are other notable examples of this, namely the Novell-Microsoft patent deal, where they were offered exclusivity, only to have it ripped away by Ballmer 2 days before closing the deal, when it was too late and they were strapped for cash.

    -

    The point is, an upfront stock buy is rarely the only monetary factor in a deal. The 6 reasons you listed, I think are rather irrelevant. It has to be money, or something that leads to money being gained or lost directly. Like legal protection or a stock gain.

  43. I’d say it’s obvious that Flickr chose Yahoo! over AOL because of the long-term potential of that relationship. AOL is baling water faster and faster, whereas Yahoo! is arguably in a “sophomore slump” phase. In terms of brand value, Yahoo! retains mindshare in a way AOL will never be able to gather or regain, in either the geek set or the finance set.

    As for MS vs. Google for DoubleClick, I’d venture to guess that even if MS offered a larger total offer, it could be that its deal was cash + equity. Based on the torpor MS’ stock has been in for the last five years (and counting), straight cash from Google would be a more reasonable strategy. Don’t forget that with this price, in a mere two years, that equity firm netted $2 billion! Here’s the 2005 press release: http://www.doubleclick.com/us/about_doubleclick/press_releases/default.asp?p=508

  44. I’d say it’s obvious that Flickr chose Yahoo! over AOL because of the long-term potential of that relationship. AOL is baling water faster and faster, whereas Yahoo! is arguably in a “sophomore slump” phase. In terms of brand value, Yahoo! retains mindshare in a way AOL will never be able to gather or regain, in either the geek set or the finance set.

    As for MS vs. Google for DoubleClick, I’d venture to guess that even if MS offered a larger total offer, it could be that its deal was cash + equity. Based on the torpor MS’ stock has been in for the last five years (and counting), straight cash from Google would be a more reasonable strategy. Don’t forget that with this price, in a mere two years, that equity firm netted $2 billion! Here’s the 2005 press release: http://www.doubleclick.com/us/about_doubleclick/press_releases/default.asp?p=508

  45. I’d say it’s obvious that Flickr chose Yahoo! over AOL because of the long-term potential of that relationship. AOL is baling water faster and faster, whereas Yahoo! is arguably in a “sophomore slump” phase. In terms of brand value, Yahoo! retains mindshare in a way AOL will never be able to gather or regain, in either the geek set or the finance set.

    As for MS vs. Google for DoubleClick, I’d venture to guess that even if MS offered a larger total offer, it could be that its deal was cash + equity. Based on the torpor MS’ stock has been in for the last five years (and counting), straight cash from Google would be a more reasonable strategy. Don’t forget that with this price, in a mere two years, that equity firm netted $2 billion! Here’s the 2005 press release: http://www.doubleclick.com/us/about_doubleclick/press_releases/default.asp?p=508

  46. Additionally, as seen with the myspace deal, it’s almost always for the benefit of the executives. Executives can send out emails and letters that will make investors and customers alike vote just about any which way on a buy out proposal. They’re shameless that way, and that’s why they’re the executives.

    http://www.doubleclick.com/us/about_doubleclick/press_releases/default.asp?p=572

    See what they say themselves about it too.
    Any deal like this is usually based on 95% consideration for the board members, and 5% for investors.

    Microsoft has a really bad track history with deals like Claria, the Novell deal, and other mis-conceived business collaborations, so that can factor in too.

    Trying to lobby the DOJ for antitrust litigation, when THEY are still under a judgment for the same offense is really out there. That’s desperation.

  47. Additionally, as seen with the myspace deal, it’s almost always for the benefit of the executives. Executives can send out emails and letters that will make investors and customers alike vote just about any which way on a buy out proposal. They’re shameless that way, and that’s why they’re the executives.

    http://www.doubleclick.com/us/about_doubleclick/press_releases/default.asp?p=572

    See what they say themselves about it too.
    Any deal like this is usually based on 95% consideration for the board members, and 5% for investors.

    Microsoft has a really bad track history with deals like Claria, the Novell deal, and other mis-conceived business collaborations, so that can factor in too.

    Trying to lobby the DOJ for antitrust litigation, when THEY are still under a judgment for the same offense is really out there. That’s desperation.

  48. Additionally, as seen with the myspace deal, it’s almost always for the benefit of the executives. Executives can send out emails and letters that will make investors and customers alike vote just about any which way on a buy out proposal. They’re shameless that way, and that’s why they’re the executives.

    http://www.doubleclick.com/us/about_doubleclick/press_releases/default.asp?p=572

    See what they say themselves about it too.
    Any deal like this is usually based on 95% consideration for the board members, and 5% for investors.

    Microsoft has a really bad track history with deals like Claria, the Novell deal, and other mis-conceived business collaborations, so that can factor in too.

    Trying to lobby the DOJ for antitrust litigation, when THEY are still under a judgment for the same offense is really out there. That’s desperation.

  49. Robert @ 2;

    I will refrain from adding anything new in the list. The list does not apply here, because Microsoft is a strong brand, culture is closer to other company’s culture than Google’s culture is, Microsoft also has a campus next to Google’s, Microsoft’s employee gets a better deal than Google’s if you see the growth opportunity and diversity Microsoft provides, regarding perk — in some department Google’s perk are higher and some other Microsoft’s perk are higher. I have worked in a noida close to new-delhi, where companies have been offering Google’s perk and more even before Google existed. It is just the western media, including western bloggers, who fail to realize this “perk innovation”, if it is happening outside of developed world.

    The deal was done in cash so better stock value is not applicable here. Even if it is applicable, some do believe that both companies’ stocks are fully priced by the markets. You could see this in goog trading on friday. 2–3% stock price increase after reporting a quarter is not unheard from a big company. That too on a day when the market had hugely positive breadth, even msft jumped half of goog jump without reporting any earnings.

  50. Robert @ 2;

    I will refrain from adding anything new in the list. The list does not apply here, because Microsoft is a strong brand, culture is closer to other company’s culture than Google’s culture is, Microsoft also has a campus next to Google’s, Microsoft’s employee gets a better deal than Google’s if you see the growth opportunity and diversity Microsoft provides, regarding perk — in some department Google’s perk are higher and some other Microsoft’s perk are higher. I have worked in a noida close to new-delhi, where companies have been offering Google’s perk and more even before Google existed. It is just the western media, including western bloggers, who fail to realize this “perk innovation”, if it is happening outside of developed world.

    The deal was done in cash so better stock value is not applicable here. Even if it is applicable, some do believe that both companies’ stocks are fully priced by the markets. You could see this in goog trading on friday. 2–3% stock price increase after reporting a quarter is not unheard from a big company. That too on a day when the market had hugely positive breadth, even msft jumped half of goog jump without reporting any earnings.

  51. Robert @ 2;

    I will refrain from adding anything new in the list. The list does not apply here, because Microsoft is a strong brand, culture is closer to other company’s culture than Google’s culture is, Microsoft also has a campus next to Google’s, Microsoft’s employee gets a better deal than Google’s if you see the growth opportunity and diversity Microsoft provides, regarding perk — in some department Google’s perk are higher and some other Microsoft’s perk are higher. I have worked in a noida close to new-delhi, where companies have been offering Google’s perk and more even before Google existed. It is just the western media, including western bloggers, who fail to realize this “perk innovation”, if it is happening outside of developed world.

    The deal was done in cash so better stock value is not applicable here. Even if it is applicable, some do believe that both companies’ stocks are fully priced by the markets. You could see this in goog trading on friday. 2–3% stock price increase after reporting a quarter is not unheard from a big company. That too on a day when the market had hugely positive breadth, even msft jumped half of goog jump without reporting any earnings.

  52. We don’t have any detail on how much influence the rank and file employees had on deciding the buyer. I would think that higher their influence, higher the possibility that they outvoted MSFT.

    Other than that #6 could have had a major impact on the deal.

  53. We don’t have any detail on how much influence the rank and file employees had on deciding the buyer. I would think that higher their influence, higher the possibility that they outvoted MSFT.

    Other than that #6 could have had a major impact on the deal.

  54. We don’t have any detail on how much influence the rank and file employees had on deciding the buyer. I would think that higher their influence, higher the possibility that they outvoted MSFT.

    Other than that #6 could have had a major impact on the deal.

  55. in Web 2.0 Expo,
    Mr. Battelle asked Dr.Eric – “What is it that allows you to pay $3.1 billion when the whisper price was $2 billion only five days earlier?”

    If DoubleClick really not interested with Microsoft why bid went up to 3.1B? If Microsoft has 20%+ search engine market, it makes much sense to argue MS tried for more money than Google.

    Kind rgrds
    saran

  56. in Web 2.0 Expo,
    Mr. Battelle asked Dr.Eric – “What is it that allows you to pay $3.1 billion when the whisper price was $2 billion only five days earlier?”

    If DoubleClick really not interested with Microsoft why bid went up to 3.1B? If Microsoft has 20%+ search engine market, it makes much sense to argue MS tried for more money than Google.

    Kind rgrds
    saran

  57. in Web 2.0 Expo,
    Mr. Battelle asked Dr.Eric – “What is it that allows you to pay $3.1 billion when the whisper price was $2 billion only five days earlier?”

    If DoubleClick really not interested with Microsoft why bid went up to 3.1B? If Microsoft has 20%+ search engine market, it makes much sense to argue MS tried for more money than Google.

    Kind rgrds
    saran

  58. I like the reasons you offer, Robert. Also agree with Don Dodge about no one truly knowing.

    I’d add one minor point to your culture ‘bullet.’

    Google and Doubleclick’s offices are in the same building in NYC. The merging of the cultures – to a degree – had already been successfully tested.

    This sort of merging doesn’t always work, though. ContextWeb (my company, an online ad network) is in the same building as Century 21 – a well-known retailer of discounted name brand clothing. Generally, I’ve always find their shirts a bit too tight. Therefore, no mergers in the foreseeable future.

  59. I like the reasons you offer, Robert. Also agree with Don Dodge about no one truly knowing.

    I’d add one minor point to your culture ‘bullet.’

    Google and Doubleclick’s offices are in the same building in NYC. The merging of the cultures – to a degree – had already been successfully tested.

    This sort of merging doesn’t always work, though. ContextWeb (my company, an online ad network) is in the same building as Century 21 – a well-known retailer of discounted name brand clothing. Generally, I’ve always find their shirts a bit too tight. Therefore, no mergers in the foreseeable future.

  60. I like the reasons you offer, Robert. Also agree with Don Dodge about no one truly knowing.

    I’d add one minor point to your culture ‘bullet.’

    Google and Doubleclick’s offices are in the same building in NYC. The merging of the cultures – to a degree – had already been successfully tested.

    This sort of merging doesn’t always work, though. ContextWeb (my company, an online ad network) is in the same building as Century 21 – a well-known retailer of discounted name brand clothing. Generally, I’ve always find their shirts a bit too tight. Therefore, no mergers in the foreseeable future.

  61. Don: some money guys I’ve met actually have a conscience too. Because there’s almost no one at Google who understands banner advertising they could surmise that far fewer DoubleClick employees would get laid off after a Google acquisition than a Microsoft one.

    But, I think that Chris is probably right. It’s funny how things look different after getting some sleep.

    We don’t know the details, so lots of this is speculation. But the reasons I gave above are based on feedback I’ve heard from actual founders who were looking at selling their companies.

  62. Don: some money guys I’ve met actually have a conscience too. Because there’s almost no one at Google who understands banner advertising they could surmise that far fewer DoubleClick employees would get laid off after a Google acquisition than a Microsoft one.

    But, I think that Chris is probably right. It’s funny how things look different after getting some sleep.

    We don’t know the details, so lots of this is speculation. But the reasons I gave above are based on feedback I’ve heard from actual founders who were looking at selling their companies.

  63. Don: some money guys I’ve met actually have a conscience too. Because there’s almost no one at Google who understands banner advertising they could surmise that far fewer DoubleClick employees would get laid off after a Google acquisition than a Microsoft one.

    But, I think that Chris is probably right. It’s funny how things look different after getting some sleep.

    We don’t know the details, so lots of this is speculation. But the reasons I gave above are based on feedback I’ve heard from actual founders who were looking at selling their companies.

  64. Tying together a few of the comments, I’ll bet that Microsoft offered more (per the rumors Robert’s in on), but that the VCs who own DoubleClick went with Google anyway to avoid the delays associated with the DoJ antitrust review that would have come with a sale to Microsoft.

  65. Tying together a few of the comments, I’ll bet that Microsoft offered more (per the rumors Robert’s in on), but that the VCs who own DoubleClick went with Google anyway to avoid the delays associated with the DoJ antitrust review that would have come with a sale to Microsoft.

  66. Tying together a few of the comments, I’ll bet that Microsoft offered more (per the rumors Robert’s in on), but that the VCs who own DoubleClick went with Google anyway to avoid the delays associated with the DoJ antitrust review that would have come with a sale to Microsoft.

  67. This rumor makes no sense. Doubleclick is owned and being sold by Helman & Friedman, the company that bought them for $1.1 billion a year and a half ago. Why would H&F care about anything other than making more money from their investment? Why would they go with a lower offer from Google if Microsoft was offering more money?

  68. This rumor makes no sense. Doubleclick is owned and being sold by Helman & Friedman, the company that bought them for $1.1 billion a year and a half ago. Why would H&F care about anything other than making more money from their investment? Why would they go with a lower offer from Google if Microsoft was offering more money?

  69. This rumor makes no sense. Doubleclick is owned and being sold by Helman & Friedman, the company that bought them for $1.1 billion a year and a half ago. Why would H&F care about anything other than making more money from their investment? Why would they go with a lower offer from Google if Microsoft was offering more money?

  70. How about “better trend on buying company’s stock price”? Microsoft’s stock has been flatlined for years. Google’s stock, despite recent volatility, is still the darling of the industry/market. If any options are included for the company being bought, or their employees, they’d be more likely to go with a suitor whose stock price still has some lift left in it.

  71. How about “better trend on buying company’s stock price”? Microsoft’s stock has been flatlined for years. Google’s stock, despite recent volatility, is still the darling of the industry/market. If any options are included for the company being bought, or their employees, they’d be more likely to go with a suitor whose stock price still has some lift left in it.

  72. How about “better trend on buying company’s stock price”? Microsoft’s stock has been flatlined for years. Google’s stock, despite recent volatility, is still the darling of the industry/market. If any options are included for the company being bought, or their employees, they’d be more likely to go with a suitor whose stock price still has some lift left in it.

  73. Joe: I think you’re right.

    If you offered me 1,050, but $500 was in Microsoft stock, and someone else offered me $1,000, but $500 in Google stock, and I’d need to hold that stock for a period of time, say, four months, then I’d go with the Google deal cause I believe there’s more upside there.

  74. Joe: I think you’re right.

    If you offered me 1,050, but $500 was in Microsoft stock, and someone else offered me $1,000, but $500 in Google stock, and I’d need to hold that stock for a period of time, say, four months, then I’d go with the Google deal cause I believe there’s more upside there.

  75. Joe: I think you’re right.

    If you offered me 1,050, but $500 was in Microsoft stock, and someone else offered me $1,000, but $500 in Google stock, and I’d need to hold that stock for a period of time, say, four months, then I’d go with the Google deal cause I believe there’s more upside there.

  76. I would never let MS buy any company I ran. That’s the beauty of staying private and not public. Once you go public, you no longer really own the direction your company takes; it’s falls to pleasing the shareholders. Uh…

    I would rather sell to anyone else. MS matters less and less as the years wear on. I’ll be pleased when they are just another company.

    Google is going to become huge, though, before this is all over, and people will start to see them as perhaps evil or similar to MS, especially when they own half the Internet.

    Here’s to a new search engine coming out of the woodwork that rivals them all AND stays private (I can dream).

  77. I would never let MS buy any company I ran. That’s the beauty of staying private and not public. Once you go public, you no longer really own the direction your company takes; it’s falls to pleasing the shareholders. Uh…

    I would rather sell to anyone else. MS matters less and less as the years wear on. I’ll be pleased when they are just another company.

    Google is going to become huge, though, before this is all over, and people will start to see them as perhaps evil or similar to MS, especially when they own half the Internet.

    Here’s to a new search engine coming out of the woodwork that rivals them all AND stays private (I can dream).

  78. I would never let MS buy any company I ran. That’s the beauty of staying private and not public. Once you go public, you no longer really own the direction your company takes; it’s falls to pleasing the shareholders. Uh…

    I would rather sell to anyone else. MS matters less and less as the years wear on. I’ll be pleased when they are just another company.

    Google is going to become huge, though, before this is all over, and people will start to see them as perhaps evil or similar to MS, especially when they own half the Internet.

    Here’s to a new search engine coming out of the woodwork that rivals them all AND stays private (I can dream).

  79. “If you offered me 1,050, but $500 was in Microsoft stock, and someone else offered me $1,000, but $500 in Google stock”

    Google – DC is an all cash deal.

  80. “If you offered me 1,050, but $500 was in Microsoft stock, and someone else offered me $1,000, but $500 in Google stock”

    Google – DC is an all cash deal.

  81. “If you offered me 1,050, but $500 was in Microsoft stock, and someone else offered me $1,000, but $500 in Google stock”

    Google – DC is an all cash deal.

  82. Keep in mind it’s not just the purchase price. If I’m selling my business I’m also thinking about the price trend of the stock my employees will get options on going forward. Given trends over the past couple of years,pr 99 out of 100 people would probably prefer options on Google shares rather than Microsoft shares. So although Microsoft’s cash is as green as Google’s, I’d say “advantage, Google” when it comes to the stock options component of future compensation.

  83. Keep in mind it’s not just the purchase price. If I’m selling my business I’m also thinking about the price trend of the stock my employees will get options on going forward. Given trends over the past couple of years,pr 99 out of 100 people would probably prefer options on Google shares rather than Microsoft shares. So although Microsoft’s cash is as green as Google’s, I’d say “advantage, Google” when it comes to the stock options component of future compensation.

  84. Keep in mind it’s not just the purchase price. If I’m selling my business I’m also thinking about the price trend of the stock my employees will get options on going forward. Given trends over the past couple of years,pr 99 out of 100 people would probably prefer options on Google shares rather than Microsoft shares. So although Microsoft’s cash is as green as Google’s, I’d say “advantage, Google” when it comes to the stock options component of future compensation.

  85. I kind of hope that advertising doesn’t come to xbox since their target audience might not be that old. *Possibly*. I mean I am sure some older men and women play XBOX but I think the kids out number them. So the benifit of advertising might be lost on XBOX except to sell more xbox games, which isn’t that be that great of a idea for the parents.

  86. I kind of hope that advertising doesn’t come to xbox since their target audience might not be that old. *Possibly*. I mean I am sure some older men and women play XBOX but I think the kids out number them. So the benifit of advertising might be lost on XBOX except to sell more xbox games, which isn’t that be that great of a idea for the parents.

  87. I kind of hope that advertising doesn’t come to xbox since their target audience might not be that old. *Possibly*. I mean I am sure some older men and women play XBOX but I think the kids out number them. So the benifit of advertising might be lost on XBOX except to sell more xbox games, which isn’t that be that great of a idea for the parents.

  88. Maybe DoubleClick turned down more MS money (if this is true; sounds like BS), because it’d be easier to get the deal approved by the EU. The EU despises Microsoft and would’ve tried to block the deal.

  89. Maybe DoubleClick turned down more MS money (if this is true; sounds like BS), because it’d be easier to get the deal approved by the EU. The EU despises Microsoft and would’ve tried to block the deal.

  90. Maybe DoubleClick turned down more MS money (if this is true; sounds like BS), because it’d be easier to get the deal approved by the EU. The EU despises Microsoft and would’ve tried to block the deal.

  91. I’d take the Cubs over the Yankees anyday, thank you very much.

    The Billy Goat Curse will wear off… We just have to bring a goat to the top-box and everything will be righted once more.
    :)

  92. I’d take the Cubs over the Yankees anyday, thank you very much.

    The Billy Goat Curse will wear off… We just have to bring a goat to the top-box and everything will be righted once more.
    :)

  93. Especially if your goal is to win the World Series? Easy, the Cubs. You’d go down in HISTORY. The Yanks? Big freaking deal, winning another series, whooopie do. You’d be forgotten before next season.

  94. Especially if your goal is to win the World Series? Easy, the Cubs. You’d go down in HISTORY. The Yanks? Big freaking deal, winning another series, whooopie do. You’d be forgotten before next season.

  95. Especially if your goal is to win the World Series? Easy, the Cubs. You’d go down in HISTORY. The Yanks? Big freaking deal, winning another series, whooopie do. You’d be forgotten before next season.

  96. Ok I can understand the rest of the reasons, but better weather? Says who? If you don’t like the weather in Seattle just wait an hour, it will change.

  97. Ok I can understand the rest of the reasons, but better weather? Says who? If you don’t like the weather in Seattle just wait an hour, it will change.

  98. Ok I can understand the rest of the reasons, but better weather? Says who? If you don’t like the weather in Seattle just wait an hour, it will change.

  99. @47 A newcomer to Seattle arrives on a rainy day. He gets up the next day and it’s raining. It also rains the day after that, and the day after that. He goes out to lunch and sees a young kid and asks out of despair, “Hey kid, does it ever stop raining around here?” The kid says, “How do I know? I’m only 6.”

  100. @47 A newcomer to Seattle arrives on a rainy day. He gets up the next day and it’s raining. It also rains the day after that, and the day after that. He goes out to lunch and sees a young kid and asks out of despair, “Hey kid, does it ever stop raining around here?” The kid says, “How do I know? I’m only 6.”

  101. @47 A newcomer to Seattle arrives on a rainy day. He gets up the next day and it’s raining. It also rains the day after that, and the day after that. He goes out to lunch and sees a young kid and asks out of despair, “Hey kid, does it ever stop raining around here?” The kid says, “How do I know? I’m only 6.”

  102. @49 – He he…

    Rain trivia on seattle – Seattle’s annual rainfall is less than NYC’s

  103. @49 – He he…

    Rain trivia on seattle – Seattle’s annual rainfall is less than NYC’s

  104. I think that the Flickr scenario is highly different than the Doubleclick one. Flickr, a couple cool folks in Vancouver – so many of the above points -did- matter to them (lifestyle etc.)

    Doubleclick, have no care on these points as they are equity house bound. So I think it was all about profit. I think Doubleclick was not just looking at immediate profit, but future profit; and they just -cannot- see Microsoft stock going up. I think this is the important point. They can however see the future profit in a building corporate Google.

    This wasn’t ‘who is cool, who is evil etc.’ This was profit driven. And I believe that we should pay attention to the choice they made. What can we infer given their choice, that assumes that Microsoft stock will never be getting any higher? Hmm, what do they know?

  105. I think that the Flickr scenario is highly different than the Doubleclick one. Flickr, a couple cool folks in Vancouver – so many of the above points -did- matter to them (lifestyle etc.)

    Doubleclick, have no care on these points as they are equity house bound. So I think it was all about profit. I think Doubleclick was not just looking at immediate profit, but future profit; and they just -cannot- see Microsoft stock going up. I think this is the important point. They can however see the future profit in a building corporate Google.

    This wasn’t ‘who is cool, who is evil etc.’ This was profit driven. And I believe that we should pay attention to the choice they made. What can we infer given their choice, that assumes that Microsoft stock will never be getting any higher? Hmm, what do they know?

  106. I think that the Flickr scenario is highly different than the Doubleclick one. Flickr, a couple cool folks in Vancouver – so many of the above points -did- matter to them (lifestyle etc.)

    Doubleclick, have no care on these points as they are equity house bound. So I think it was all about profit. I think Doubleclick was not just looking at immediate profit, but future profit; and they just -cannot- see Microsoft stock going up. I think this is the important point. They can however see the future profit in a building corporate Google.

    This wasn’t ‘who is cool, who is evil etc.’ This was profit driven. And I believe that we should pay attention to the choice they made. What can we infer given their choice, that assumes that Microsoft stock will never be getting any higher? Hmm, what do they know?

  107. @51 There’s a difference between annual rainfall in inches and # of cloudy/rainy days. I’m guessing the # of cloudy/rainy days is higher in Seattle than NYC.

  108. @51 There’s a difference between annual rainfall in inches and # of cloudy/rainy days. I’m guessing the # of cloudy/rainy days is higher in Seattle than NYC.

  109. @51 There’s a difference between annual rainfall in inches and # of cloudy/rainy days. I’m guessing the # of cloudy/rainy days is higher in Seattle than NYC.

  110. @53, Yes. IIRC seattle has an average 244 cloudy days. NYC (and almost all others) have much less cloudy days.

  111. @53, Yes. IIRC seattle has an average 244 cloudy days. NYC (and almost all others) have much less cloudy days.

  112. @53, Yes. IIRC seattle has an average 244 cloudy days. NYC (and almost all others) have much less cloudy days.

  113. Another factor that might come into play, is the fact that DoubleClick and Google both share the same building in New York. This makes things that much more convenient for the merger. The question I have is “Why wouldn’t Helman & Friedman want more money from Microsoft?” Once they sellaren’t they out of the picture?

  114. Another factor that might come into play, is the fact that DoubleClick and Google both share the same building in New York. This makes things that much more convenient for the merger. The question I have is “Why wouldn’t Helman & Friedman want more money from Microsoft?” Once they sellaren’t they out of the picture?

  115. Another factor that might come into play, is the fact that DoubleClick and Google both share the same building in New York. This makes things that much more convenient for the merger. The question I have is “Why wouldn’t Helman & Friedman want more money from Microsoft?” Once they sellaren’t they out of the picture?

  116. [...] Using unexplained cultural anecdotes to make a point. This is probably less common, but can be the most bewildering. Culture-specific references (i.e. something that assumes a knowledge of local geography, sport, politics, whatever) can be necessary when discussing some topics, and when properly explained can make almost any topic more interesting. However if the story makes absolutely no sense to a good chunk of your readers, it’s not really helping with your point. [...]