(Unable to reply directly to his [and other's] fine thoughts, I'll do so here......)
[Added today - 12th of May, 2011 - tinyurl.com/65myt43].
MSFT won't need to spend one penny, ok? (But they may care to "donate" some of their 'savings' to you and me?) - In fact, as a result of what we will soon see become (a happy announcement of search marketing's "Wedding of the Year" - the Century?), the MSN and Yahoo drawn-out courtship together will get to be consumated! After these two (finally), do get to "tie the knot". IMHO.
.....A "union" that will see MSN's Publisher Center (in a revenue "split" type deal) get to "manage" the inventory for all of Yahoo's publisher interests (YPN) besides their, MSN's own. (That's includes, the full monetisation of all their 'collective' sites, etc)
Yahoo then get to become a huge 'pure play' (stand-alone) Global Ad Network based around it's RME or, the Right Media Exchange. MSN's ads base gets to gradually "gravitate" across to YHOO via it's 'smooth' adCenter customer's "hand over" to it, from MSN.
Yahoo's own sites will take on Bing and Yahoo then get to save 1 million annually. The newspaper consortium Yahoo currently have (850 odd brands) will (also) come under the MSN's YeildBuild PubCenter technology and will all get to take on Bing for their own respective site search requirements. Can you only imagine the collective "eye-balls" then achieved? And don't advertisers like to always go where their target 'market' hang about?
Users can be more easily 'targeted' then, from 'partner to partner' and site to site. ACAP (a 'crawler' access protocol permissions), may well then be "enforced" on search engines, in some instances. A full range of Multi Media buys and such 'offerings' will be both 'sold' and bought in, by what is (now), an independently operated, MSN and Yahoo, respectively.
.....And finally (much to your surprise, I'm sure Thomas) advertising interface 'technology' will be both provided and presided over by your (cough...) $18M purchase, in Looksmart....Looksmart's own SmartRotations (within it's AdCenter) has very similar features as does MSN's YeildBuild, a technology that Google's own "new" Ad Network (incoporating DoubleClick), has also installed. Both 'tech' would appear to have been built (in colaboration) under the same roof (so to speak), that houses Looksmart.
Both YeildBuild and SmartRotations will provide 'universal' (same), real time data and analytics, plus both will (always) independently operate as 'opposites' in what will be a completely 'transparent to all' those at all times, who get to 'play'.
Yet, Looksmart's SmartRotations is designed for and on behalf of, the Advertiser, for Ad Agencies plus Global and any National Brand who may choose to buy their publisher's inventory from 'in house'.
This MSN/YHOO 'deal' I see coming will get to "kick start" a Global (push-pull type) "live" (RTB) auction marketplace that can (will) see many other (strategically based Global) Ad/Pub Networks, then get to all 'join in' and quickly.
............With MSN "batting" for the publishers of the world and Looksmart's (own) "independent" technology that's on the side of the advertisers (who get to pay the bills, as usual), it's "game on". We then have a totally fair and "blind to each other" in each and every single "inter-connection" that promotes a healthy and sustainable marketplace.
Each day that goes by (this 'scenario') really IS all, now very much appearing that way to me. The "signs" are there.
Cheers Thomas. We have now just saved 'Mr Softy' that $5 billion!
Hang on......Surely I must be dreaming?
(Don't forget to follow Thomas on Twitter. Twitter.com/thomasjowers)
ps; Disclosure....Long Looksmart. (LOOK)