Yahoo's Joyful, Difficult Journey

The beloved Internet icon's buoyant beginning gave way to missed acquisitions, an inferior understanding of the Web's evolution, and Google's shadow
From left, Yahoo! co-founder David Filo, former CEO Terry Semel, and Jerry Yang. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

For a company whose very name is a joyous exclamation, it's almost unbelievable that Yahoo! may end up going out with a whimper. Yahoo's possible purchase by Microsoft, which launched an unsolicited $44.6 billion bid on Feb. 1, would end one of the technology world's iconic fairy tales. If the deal happens, the company that put a friendly face on the wild and woolly Internet would be reduced to nothing more than a brand within the bowels of an old-guard technology titan.

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