Ballmer to Yahoo: No to Acquisition, Maybe for a Search Deal

Nov 10, 2008 | 1,632 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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After Jerry Yang's explicit comments about Yahoo! being open to an acquisition from Microsoft, everyone was waiting with waited breath as to what the latter would have to say regarding this announcement. Well, the announcement came, it was anything but promising.

While speaking to a group of developers in Sydney, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made these not-so-subtle statements in response to Yang's announcement. Ballmer openly dismissed the prospects of an outright acquisition. However, he emphasized that a search deal might be possibility.

Ballmer reportedly quoted, “We made an offer… We made another offer. It was clear that Yahoo! doesn't want to sell the business to us and we moved on. We tried at one point to do a partnership around search, not an outright acquisition. But that didn't work either, so we moved on… and they moved on… We are not interested in going back and relooking at an acquisition. I don't know why they would be either, frankly. They turned us down at $33 a share … But, I'm sure there are still opportunities for some kind of partnership around search.”

Well, one can't help but think of this as a game of poker right from the start. So it's tough to figure out whether Ballmer's refusal is as true as it sounds or just a waiting move. For all we know, Microsoft might just be waiting for Yahoo's stock to reach the nadir, so that we have another JP Morgan & Bear Sterns situation, with Microsoft as the former and Yahoo! as the latter.

Moreover, with the talks of Yahoo! and AOL deal in much limelight, if some waiting can enable them (Microsoft) to scoop up two competitors at the price of one, then it surely seems the sensible thing to do. Microsoft might just be playing its cards right and waiting while the economy does it some great favors.

4.thumbnail Ballmer to Yahoo: No to Acquisition, Maybe for a Search Deal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Ballmer to Yahoo: No to Acquisition, Maybe for a Search Deal
4.thumbnail Ballmer to Yahoo: No to Acquisition, Maybe for a Search Deal