Microsoft says in talks with Yahoo!, but not 're-bidding'

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said his company was still holding talks with Yahoo!, although no longer about efforts to take over the internet giant.

Ballmer, speaking during a conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, recalled that Microsoft had dropped its bid to buy Yahoo! after Yahoo! rejected its takeover offer.

“We made a bid, we thought that we could accelerate our online activities by acquiring Yahoo!. We walked away. Now we are talking about other things with Yahoo!,” he said without providing more details.

“We are not re-bidding, it’s not on the docket, but we reserve the right to do so,” he added.

Yahoo! chief executive Jerry Yang was to address the same “All Things Digital” conference on Wednesday.

Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo! for $44,6-billion in stock and cash on January 31, but withdrew the offer on May 3, saying Yahoo! refused to budge despite the software giant upping its offer to nearly $50-billion.

Last week, Microsoft announced that it had reopened negotiations with Yahoo! on “an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo! but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo!”.

Analysts believe that Yahoo! is not interested in a partial takeover and would prefer to either sell the company for a higher price or not at all.

Others say Microsoft only wants to acquire Yahoo!‘s search engine and its system that places advertisements on internet searchers, which generate $1,6-billion in sales.

Yahoo! has come under pressure from corporate raider Carl Icahn, who has reportedly bought a stake of more than 4% in the California firm and says he plans to oust board members he accuses of botching the recent talks with Microsoft.—AFP

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