There was an exclusive report from Reuters that 10 Yahoo! (YHOO) shareholders are trying to force a merger with AOL (AOL). It was an odd report because I 'm a Yahoo! shareholder and I've been speaking with many large Yahoo! shareholders over the past few months and this was news to me.
It's entirely possible that Reuters spoke to 10 investors whom I've never talked to and they've been pushing Yahoo! to merge with AOL, but I am not hearing that.
My best guess of how that story came about is that there was a lot of "Broken Telephone."
I'm sure that shareholders have been talking a lot with Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman. And I'm sure that many shareholders have spoken with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong about the possibilities of a tie-up.
But does talking mean that shareholders are trying to force a combination of the companies? I just don't buy it.
With the announcement that Yahoo! would buy BrightRoll for $640 million, it's odd timing that Reuters would report a potential deal with AOL and Yahoo! the next day. Why would Yahoo! spend that cash on BrightRoll when it's going to have to spend another $4 Billion on AOL shortly? Couldn't Yahoo! just get all its video-ad needs met by Adap.TV instead of BrightRoll?
It's still possible that a Yahoo!-AOL deal could happen down the road, but I don't see any Yahoo! shareholders pushing for it. Their eyes are on the prize of getting Yahoo! to announce a deal to avoid taxes on its remaining stakes in Alibaba (BABA) and Yahoo! Japan.