‘Yahoo hasn’t done anything in the past 10 years to set the internet alight’

Why would anyone want to buy Yahoo? Such was the question posed by one of my Twitter followers as Thursday’s bid (from private equity groups Blackstone and Bain) crossed the wires. “It’s a zombie company,” he said.Indeed, Yahoo has been stumbling about for quite a few years, with nobody quite clear what its purpose is. I asked the recently departed chief executive Carol Bartz precisely that question a year or so ago, and she burbled around the answer. Really, all Yahoo is there to do is vacuum up spare display advertising while it provides a bit of news, and photography (hello Flickr!) and also be an intermediary for lots of email. Revenues are on a downward slide; Facebook and Twitter are sucking up the display that it used to thrive on.And, er, that’s it. Nobody can quite think of anything that Yahoo has done in the past 10 years that has set the internet alight.

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