Yahoo Should Not Buy Facebook

Robert Peck of Bear Stearns recently presented on the theme “Yahoo should buy Facebook“, with a rough valuation of Facebook. I have to admit my skepticism of this argument. Yahoo has a history of not taking advantage of its acquisitions (Broadcast.comÂ…).

Far cheaper than buying Facebook would be to provide a systematically integrated user experience across all of those different brands. Most noteably, Yahoo owns Yahoo Groups, which to this day has one of the most active user bases of any online community. There are roughly 6 million Yahoo groups, with an average of perhaps 10 users each, and many of those users (including me) are not impressed with the quality of their current user experience. (The 6 million figure comes from Jeff Weiner of Yahoo, but the figure of 10 users each is only a rough estimate.)

Yahoo already has tremendous reach and many of the most noteworthy brands in the Web 2.0 space (Flickr, Delicious, etc.). Integrating all of these brands is a mammoth missed opportunity.