If you have been following the debacle with DraftKings and other online fantasy sports leagues, you may have wondered when the net would spread wider and grab other folks. Wonder no longer. New York State’s attorney general recently subpoenaed search giant Yahoo, a move that probably could not have come at a worse time for the brand.
Yahoo, of course, has been losing market share and consumer interest for years. As Google continues to reign supreme, Yahoo tried to steal some of AOL’s dying thunder, offering users news and other additional benefits for using its objectively inferior service. And, by objectively, we mean that tens of millions were flocking to Google while simultaneously leaving Yahoo. Must be a reason for that CHOICE, right?
Back in 2012, Yahoo got so desperate it actually hired the enemy’s former CEO, Marissa Mayer, in an effort to understand and effectively compete with Google. Three years later, there’s not much to show for that gambit.
So, if you’re Yahoo and you are doing all you can to maintain or, potentially, increase your overall relevance to your shrinking market, any distraction at all is a bad thing. Being lumped into a state investigation is a massive PR crisis.
NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is looking into fantasy sports services and has already issued injunctions against FanDuel and DraftKings in an attempt to block their operation in his state. Now he has turned his attention on Yahoo. While most users are more familiar with FanDuel and DraftKings, mainly due to a combination of their nonstop commercials and, now, legal trouble, Yahoo has a fairly substantial fantasy gamer base in its own right.
Now, it appears, that may come back to bite them. It’s early in the process, so it’s tough to tell what will come of this. But one thing is certain: Yahoo wishes it were anywhere else than on the receiving end of a subpoena. Yahoo has, of course, argued that its product is legal. We’ll see if New York agrees.