Microsoft launches a $44.6 Billion unsolicited bid to acquire Yahoo.
Let’s assume for a moment that the deal will stick (and it certainly sounds like it’s farther along than we think) – what does it mean for online real estate?
First and foremost, it likely means consolidation at the top of the real estate portals as the #2 and #3 sites (according to ComScore) will probably merge.
MSN Real Estate has been the ugly stepchild of the Real Estate 2.0 crowd to date – merely an afterthought, despite its massive monthly traffic.
Yahoo Real Estate, by contrast, has been pushing out new features steadily and is clearly the superior of the two destinations. No doubt in my mind – Y!RE will win out and become the dominant destination. This is surely great news in the minds of the folks at Yahoo who have been troubled by their future for weeks (see What’s in Store for Yahoo Real Estate).
Who this impacts most is Move.com – partly because they’ll see a combined entity nipping at the heels of Realtor.com, but also because they currently power MSN’s real estate searches (and no doubt draw a bunch of their own traffic from those searches).
Will Y!RE under its tent, MSN will likely push that relationship to the side and focus on tying all of its new properties under a revamped real estate destination.
A revitalized MicroHoo mega-portal is something that the other Real Estate 2.0 participants must dread as well. Especially since most are now into the second and third years of operations and are still hoping to gain traction amongst consumers. This could be the final nail in their coffins.
In any case, all speculation at this stage. But definitely fun to think about.
- Greg Sterling gives ‘Micro-Hoo’ the Local Angle