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Yahoo’s Got Spin, Not Substance

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer speaks at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas.

The company’s board, it seems, has decided a good chance of the spinoff being treated as tax-free—Yahoo’s outside lawyers have backed the plan—is better than the certainty of taxes today.

For Yahoo shareholders, the spinoff’s stock was already expected to trade at a discount to Alibaba. The potential tax liability means the discount will likely widen.

That could make the shares...