Break out the yellow ties and suspenders, it’s M&A time in the Valley

CNET goes to CBS for $1.28 billion (thx Chris) — a 44% premium over yesterday’s closing price. Silicon Alley Reporter has the skinny and is blogging the call at 8:30 EST. What can I say? CNET started as a TV show, morphed into an online network, blazed some strong trails in the early days (from developing its own content management system, early moves into video and user reviews, extension quickly from computers to consumer electronics), grew like a weed, ate the traditional tech rags lunches, acquired ZDNet, then, post 2000 bubble-pop, hiccupped a little, soldiered on, the founders (Halsey Minor, et al) moved on, and then, indigniities of indignities, upstarts start picking fights with them.

The sale makes sense, but I never have really figured out CBS and the internet. Sure, there was CBS Marketwatch — a great site in the early days, but that was sold off to Dow Jones. Now Les Moonves is back in the game with a geek content acquisition? One getting the heck challenged out of it by the long tail specialist sites and gadget blogs like Engadget, Gizmodo? We shall see.

Then along came Carl Icahn, eater of companies, who decides to show Microsoft how to do a hostile takeover. Icahn, who is best known for his 1985 assault on TWA, has accumulated 50 million shares in Yahoo and is plotting a board takeover. As someone blogged yesterday, Jerry Yang is hiding under his desk.

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