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November 19, 2008

Ballmer again says no Yahoo acquisition

Posted by David Hunter at 2:22 PM ET.

Microsoft’s annual shareholder meeting is today and inevitably the question of Microsoft acquiring Yahoo came up given the recent announcement of Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang’s departure. However, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer again said Microsoft is no longer interested:

Microsoft Corp. is no longer interested in buying all of Yahoo Inc., CEO Steve Ballmer said Wednesday, though he told shareholders that the company would still be "very open" to a collaboration on Internet search. His comments sent Yahoo shares diving by 19 percent.

"Let me be clear," Ballmer said at Microsoft’s annual shareholder meeting. "We are done with all acquisition discussions with Yahoo."

But hope springs eternal for merger fans:

Some analysts have interpreted Ballmer’s public comments about a Yahoo buyout as negotiating posturing, and suspect Microsoft might still want to grab Yahoo at a low price, in hopes of improving their joint position in online search and advertising. However, analysts have also said Microsoft is likely to wait until next year before deciding, giving it time to watch Yahoo’s performance and study the antitrust regulatory climate in a new administration in Washington.

Filed under Alliances, Coopetition, Executives, Steve Ballmer, Yahoo

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