marissa-mayer-267Alibaba sneezes and Yahoo gets a cold, so to speak. Alibaba delivered an earnings report that was weaker than expected, which sent Alibaba shares falling by 9%. As a knock-on effect, Yahoo is also tanking. It is down 6% this morning. Yahoo owns 15% of Alibaba, so it is pretty much just a tracking stock for the Chinese online retailer. This explains, at least in part, why Yahoo is splitting itself up. On Tuesday, Yahoo announced a plan to spin out its 15% stake in Alibaba into a standalone public company. This structure lets Yahoo shareholders get the full benefit of the Alibaba shares without taking an $18 billion tax hit that would have occurred if Yahoo simply sold its stake in Alibaba. More