So MSFT is looking to buy an ISP to complement it's MSNetwork. Could it be conceivable that MSFT attempts to buy ATHM?? Look at what they would get - great technology, immediate access to the fat pipe, immediate access to customers that buy things (lots of things!), great partners with the likes of the cable cos., and a head start vs AOL's broadband ISP efforts. Seems to me that MSFT would get one step closer to dominating the internet and controlling how people connect and interact with it.Just thinking out of the box here.Am I way of base??Z.
ZGood post. It is always sensible to look out for what MS can do to spoil things for everyone.In this case, though, I think we have lead underpants. Even after the dilution caused by the XCIT merger, TCI retains a substantial stake of the equity. It was c.38% before the XCIT announcement, BUT around 70% of the voting rights. It is a little difficult to explain, but TCI holds stock in a different series from the rest of us, which is convertible to "our" series of stock to establish the 38%. However, each share of the TCI series carries ten times the voting power of the other series. This is how the difference between the 38% and 70% arises.I haven't done any calculations on the dilution effect on these golden stakes, but I would be surprised if TCI/ATT ended up with less than 50% of the voting rights - in which case MS could never obtain a controlling interest without buying AT&T, or perhaps by outbidding ATT for TCI before the deal is approved by both boards.Outside the box is the best place to think.John
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