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Rumors Bubble On Microsoft, EBay Talk

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-30

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Sources say that unnamed people at the two tech companies have reportedly been discussing a potential merger. Allegedly.

If this were a print publication instead of an online one, the large grain of salt one should take with it would accompany this article. The New York Post has reported on secret discussions that focused on merging eBay with Microsoft.

The Post said the two firms have been discussing the potential blockbuster merger for the past several weeks. Antitrust concerns and eBay's partnership with Yahoo have apparently served to put the high-level discussions aside temporarily.

That eBay-Yahoo arrangement, which should boost Yahoo considerably, will help boost eBay's presence throughout Yahoo's search listings. It doesn't seem likely eBay would agree to a multi-year partnership with Yahoo over this if Meg Whitman and company planned to toss Terry Semel and Yahoo aside to be part of MSN.

Microsoft has been developing services that could eventually provide some competition for eBay, namely Windows Live Expo and Windows Live Shopping. Plus, the company has been slowly shifting some MSN-branded services to the Windows Live name.

It also doesn't make much sense for Microsoft to buy eBay and then rebrand the company under the MSN name. The eBay name has years of brand recognition built up and businesses don't toss aside those names unless they've picked up a negative connotation with the public.

File this under "unlikely."

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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