No Further Yahoo Bid, Microsoft's Ballmer Reaffirms - InformationWeek

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No Further Yahoo Bid, Microsoft's Ballmer Reaffirms

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also reiterated that the company is now seeking some form of partnership with Yahoo.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Wednesday reaffirmed the company's position on acquiring Yahoo: It's no longer interested.

"We are not bidding to buy Yahoo," said Ballmer, at a launch event for Microsoft's new research and development center in Herzliya, Israel, according to Reuters.

Ballmer also reiterated Microsoft's statement over the past weekend that it's now seeking some form of partnership with the Web company. "We are trying to have discussions about deals with Yahoo that might create value, but not a whole acquisition of the company," Ballmer said, without further comment.

Microsoft on Sunday revealed in a public statement that it had approached Yahoo "with an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo, but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo." The company has declined to elaborate.

The bet is that Microsoft wants a deal that would combine Yahoo's search operations with its own, while allowing Yahoo's portal and display advertising units to remain independent. Yahoo might also spin off its Asian operations, including its stake in Chinese portal Alibaba, under such a scenario, the speculation goes.

Together, Microsoft and Yahoo would control about 31% of the search market, compared to Google's 60%, based on data from comScore.

Separately, oil man T. Boone Pickens told CNBC on Tuesday that he has acquired 10 million shares of Yahoo to support fellow billionaire Carl Icahn's attempt to replace Yahoo's current board with a pro-Microsoft merger slate at the Internet company's July 3rd shareholder meeting.

Yahoo's current board rejected outright Microsoft's $33 per share takeover offer. In response, Microsoft broke off acquisition talks earlier this month.

Yahoo on Sunday said in a statement that it's open to a Microsoft partnership, as well as other options for boosting its search business. "Yahoo's board of directors will evaluate each of our alternatives, including any Microsoft proposal, consistent with its fiduciary duties," Yahoo said.

Yahoo shares were off 1.71% in late morning trading Wednesday, to $27. Microsoft shares were up 0.24% to $28.83.

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