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Can Rupert Murdoch steal the thunder of Microhoo?

Whatever you might imagine Conrad Black is up to today—washing floors, dishes or laundry, mowing a lawn or teaching a fellow inmate to speak French—spare a moment to empathize with the resentment and envy his Lordship must feel at the prospects of his tormentor and vanquisher Mighty Murdoch. I’ve argued before in this space that it was Rupert who knocked over the first domino leading to the great man’s demise. This morning in The Globe and Mail, Black biographer Richard Siklos (whose sage counsel led my thinking in this regard) writes about the many complex scenarios revolving around the current Internet-based plays that will shape the broader media landscape for the foreseeable future.

Yahoo is in play, subject to takeover/merger bids in the main from Time Warner (AOL) and Microsoft. It almost goes without saying that lurking on the margins we find Rupert Murdoch, who has, it seems, thrown in his lot with Microsoft in an effort to make more hay from his $600-million (relative peanuts) investment in MySpace. Meantime, the other giant shark in this pool, Google, circles about engaging in a short-term deal with Yahoo to see how combining their advertising forces might enhance the value of both companies.

I noted with amusement Siklos’s tongue-in-cheek effort at naming the potential new entities that might emerge from all this corporate copulating (e.g., Microhoo, MyMicrohooSpace, YahAOLoo). However this plays out, writes Siklos, “this dance is just getting going.” And with that in mind, reserve a thought today for the most prominent wallflower of them all: Prisoner 18330-424.

Let the battle for Web relevancy begin [Globe and Mail]• Microsoft Remains Favorite In Crowded Battle for Yahoo [Wall Street Journal]• Yahoo-Microsoft Battle Bolsters Google [CTV News]• News Corp. May Join Yahoo Bid With Microsoft [New York Times]• Murdoch Most Foul [Toronto Life]• Print’s Rupert [Toronto Life]

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