Yahoo just bought Kelkoo. If you're in the States, you probably haven't come across Kelkoo - thank your lucky stars.
It's a 'comparison-shopping service' to the analysts behind this deal - to the consumers who are the other side of the value dyad, it's more like a massive search engine spam infrastructure. That is to say, it's a comparison-shopping service that offers little real value, because results are irrelevant and inaccurate. But it gets a lot of hits, because it Googlebombs very well.
If you think I'm ranting, check out the results of a simple search for aibo. Aibo's aren't that easy to get in the UK - but they can be found. But in this case, Kelkoo degenerates into a front end for Amazon UK. The point is that the metrics used to drive this deal and the real sources of value creation are hugely divergent - and that's how businesses get killed.
Yahoo's strategy has overlooked it's own economics for a while now (viz. the pay-for-indexing debacle) - but this is the icing on the cake. I was going to write a nice long post on this a couple of weeks back, but never had time - the short version is that Yahoo is going for saturation bombing driven by a value extraction mindset. Not smart - you can flog complementary assets all you want (comparison engines) but you can't extract value until you've created some in the first place (with decent search results, blah, blah).
You should read this paper about network externalities and standards wars in the 16bit video game market. These guys reach a very interesting and somewhat unorthodox conclusion: network strength is as (if not more) important than network size - which is what valuations, analyses, and big dreams are mostly based on. Killer stuff.