Yahoo: Shun me once, shame on you. Shun me three times in one day, shame on… uh, shame on all of you.
First, Google walked away from their search advertising partnership, saying that it had enough with interference from U.S. antitrust regulators. That’s no surprise — remember the deal was originally conceived as a way for Yahoo to fend off Microsoft’s takeover ambitions? On that score, Google can certainly say: mission accomplished.
Then, investors and bloggers started speculating that Google’s withdrawal could make room for Microsoft to return to the negotiating table. Shares of Yahoo jumped as much as 11 percent on rumors that the companies were in advanced talks … before several people familiar with the situation roundly denied that Microsoft was close to making an offer.
Finally, when News Corp was asked on its earnings call about the status of its previously reported discussions with Yahoo or Microsoft, Rupert Murdoch said, “There are no talks.”
That seems to leave Yahoo with only one possible partner: Time Warner’s AOL. The two companies are supposed to be in due diligence on a combination, but when questioned on its earnings call, Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes was vague: