Google, Yahoo And Microsoft Are Not The New GM, Ford And Chrysler

Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay thinks Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are the equivalent of GM, Ford and Chrysler of 60 years ago. Our quick response is "Umm. No."

Basically, Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay thinks Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are the new GM, Ford and Chrysler because they parallel the auto industry. His argument is "Buick, Oldsmobile and Chevrolet were the high tech industry of the 1940s." He then claims they were "gobbled up to become GM" just ahead of when they needed more innovation rather than less. Lindsay then compares that to Yahoo and their ownership of Flickr, Del.icio.us and the rest — where each is buying up their competitors in expensive deals that limit their own spending on innovation.

So basically, he's claiming GM avoided innovation heading into the gas-guzzling era of the 1950s and 1960s because they'd spent so much on buying up small companies. While we do believe they avoided innovation during those two decades in favor of continuing to design big boat-like four-doors while foreign automakers were designing smaller and more fuel-efficient cars, it had more to do with arrogance than with over-spending on nameplates that limit their own innovation. Mostly because Buick was GM's first brand, Oldsmobile was acquired by GM in 1908 and Chevrolet was bought in 1918. Otherwise, sure, that argument they all were "gobbled up" in the 1940s makes a lot of sense.

So the long answer is some analysts have way too much time on their hands. [via ZDNet]