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Yahoo! Earnings: Getting the Amazon Treatment From Investors

The Summly summary of her earnings comments last night at the end was a stroke of PR brilliance. There was a lot of criticism of the Summly deal as a PR stunt. It seems clear that Yahoo! got some valuable IP from SRI International as part of the deal. If Yahoo! wants to cozy up to Apple (and why wouldn't they?), it'll need to help with Siri and Summly will help.

I think Web Services is already a key battleground area going forward and Yahoo! can play a role here -- especially if it helps out Apple, who definitely needs help. There is a Chinese mobile phone company called Xiaomi that sells its phones at cost (or even a small loss). The company freely admits that and says it wants to make money on the services.

But this isn't just something affecting the low-end phone makers. Samsung needs to differentiate from Android, Apple and now Facebook Home. What's going to be different about these phones? The services.


In my view, this is a big blind spot for Apple. It has the cash to buy both Twitter and Yahoo! and that would totally change the landscape for mobile phone competition. If I was Tim Cook, I'd put Marissa Mayer in charge to run it and try and ensure that the cultures of Twitter and Yahoo! was left alone from the rest of Apple. They are very different cultures.

Yahoo!'s stock getting the Amazon treatment? Who would have expected that six months ago?

At the time of publication the author was long YHOO.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Eric Jackson is founder and Managing Member of Ironfire Capital and the general partner and investment manager of Ironfire Capital US Fund LP and Ironfire Capital International Fund, Ltd. In January 2007, Jackson started the world's first Internet-based campaign to increase shareholder value at Yahoo!, leading to a change in CEOs in 2007. He also spoke out in favor of Yahoo!'s accepting Microsoft's buyout offer in 2008. Global Proxy Watch named Jackson as one of its 10 "Stars" who positively influenced international corporate governance and shareowner value in 2007.

Prior to founding Ironfire Capital, Jackson was President and CEO of Jackson Leadership Systems, Inc., a leadership, strategy, and governance consulting firm. He completed his Ph.D. in the Management Department at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York, with a specialization in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance, and holds a B.A. from McGill University.

He was previously Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at VoiceGenie Technologies, a software firm now owned by Alcatel-Lucent. In 2004, Jackson founded the Young Patrons' Circle at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, which is now the second-largest social and philanthropic group of its kind in North America, raising $500,000 annually for the museum. You can follow Jackson on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ericjackson or @ericjackson.

You can contact Eric by emailing him at eric.jackson@thestreet.com.

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