Yahoo to Microsoft: $teve, let’$ talk

April 7, 2008

Jerry Yang, Yahoo CEO and co-founder speaks at a keynote address at the CES in Las Vegas

“Dear Steve, it’s us, the Yahoo Guys again. Thanks for that whole deal deadline thing. Listen, our business is doing just fine. If you want to talk some more about acquiring us, $ay $omething we haven’t already heard, OK? Thanks. Jerry.”

The letter from Yahoo’s board released on Monday said the Web media company still isn’t pleased with Microsoft’s $31 a share offer, but hey, that doesn’t mean they can’t work something out, you know, for more money.

“We have continued to make clear that we are not opposed to a transaction with Microsoft if it is in the best interests of our stockholders. Our position is simply that any transaction must be at a value that fully reflects the value of Yahoo, including any strategic benefits to Microsoft, and on terms that provide certainty to our stockholders.”

Blogger Henry Blodget interprets the letter as essentially urging Microsoft to “Stop Distorting Truth” and “We’re happy to sell to you, but we’re not going to allow you to steal the company.”


Keep an eye on:

  • Yahoo’s AMP aims to simplify the process of buying and selling online ads for advertisers, ad agencies, fast-growing ad trading networks and Web site publishers. (Reuters)
  • Viacom’s Sumner Redstone’s frayed relationship with his daughter makes the issue of who will succeed him as controlling shareholder – a question that hovers over the future of Viacom and CBS – difficult. (New York Times)
  • Nielsen will acquire IAG Research, which measures how consumers react to TV shows, commercials and product placements, for $225 million. (PaidContent )

(Photo: Reuters file)

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The CEO Steven E Ballmer of Microsoft Corp issued an ultimatum to the Board of Directors of Yahoo! Inc demanding that they instruct their management team to begin serious negotiations over Microsoft’s buyout offer or to face the prospect of a proxy fight. The Redmond-software giant made a $44.6 billion bid several months ago for Yahoo. At that time, Yahoo’s Directors rejected the offer because they deemed it as under-valuing their company. Due to the softening in the economy and the equity markets, Microsoft wants Yahoo to make a decision within the next three weeks. “We believe now is the time for our respective companies to authorize teams to sit down and negotiate a definitive agreement on a combination of our companies that will deliver superior value to our respective shareholders, creating a more efficient and competitive company that will provide greater value and service to our customers,” Mr Ballmer said in his letters to the Yahoo Directors. “If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders, including the initiation of a proxy contest to elect an alternative slate of directors for the Yahoo board,” Mr Ballmer threatened.

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