It is perhaps no coincidence that the biggest news in the technological world is announced while Mercury (news) is retrograde in Aquarius (technology), at the point of Pluto’s ingress into Capricorn.

Microsoft has just announced that it will offer USD44.6 billion for Yahoo in an effort to compete with Google, a move which has been dubbed ‘a public confession of failure’.

Pluto’s transit into Capricorn over the next 17 years or so is said to shake up institutions, corporations and fixed structures (including fixed beliefs and ideas). The shake up in the world banking sector is a hint of what’s to come. Before change takes place, however, there will be resistance, and Microsoft as a corporate (Capricorn) juggernaut (Pluto) appears to be doing just that. It is teaming up with Yahoo, a Web pioneer (Aquarius), to compete against an even younger upstart, Google.

The story of Google is, in some ways, characteristic of the whole age of Web 2.0, the apparent democratisation and distribution of the world wide web. The founders of Google are said to have hatched the idea in the summer of 1995, when Uranus (innovation, technology) had just moved into its natural home, Aquarius (humanitarian, forward-looking), and Pluto (power, deep change) had just ingressed Sagittarius (expansion, spiritual beliefs), beginning a twelve year consolidation and shake-up of the way our society perceives and conceives of itself. In fact, Google’s corporate motto is: ‘Don’t be evil’. (Google recently launched a corporate philanthropic programme).

In 2003, Uranus ingressed Pisces, the sign of spiritual transcendence and yet also escapism and avoidance. At around the same time, the growth of Google and its increasing domination of the web (Pluto is Sag expansion evolving to Pluto in Cap consolidation), and its apparent good intentions were coming under public scrutiny.

What’s interesting about Microsoft’s announcement during this Mercury rx in Aquarius is how the old establishment (Capricorn) is attempting to establish control (Pluto) over a younger upstart, by using a previous upstart, Yahoo, incorporated in 1995, but over-expanded (Pluto in Sag). In other words, there appears to be a cycle of big fish trying to eat smaller-but-getting-bigger fish.

Mercury rx in Aquarius appears to be providing the environment under which the battle of these titans is drawn to the surface. That Mercury is in retrograde in the maverick sign of Aquarius, however, suggests perhaps that the outcome may not be what anybody expects.

Update, 10 February 2008: Yahoo is reported to be intending to reject Microsoft’s offer as being ‘too low’.
15 February 2008: Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp rumoured to have entered the race