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November 7, 2008

Ballmer says no new Yahoo acquisition attempt

Posted by David Hunter at 9:06 AM ET.

Steve Ballmer is down in Australia and as usual is never short of off-the-cuff remarks to titillate the press. However, his take on the rumors that Microsoft might make another attempt to purchase some portion of Yahoo was that it just wasn’t going to happen and he seemed very adamant about it:

Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Sydney on Friday, Ballmer said: "Look, we made an offer, we made another offer. It was clear that Yahoo didn’t want to sell the business to us, and we moved on."

Ballmer said other deals with Yahoo had also been unsuccessful. "We tried at one point to do a partnership around search, not advertising. That didn’t work either, so we moved on, and they moved on."

"We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition," he said. "I don’t know why they would be either, frankly."

Ah, but Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang is now very interested in a deal:

"To this day the best thing for Microsoft to do is buy Yahoo," said Mr Yang.

"I don’t think that is a bad idea at all, at the right price whatever that price is. We’re willing to sell the company," he told a packed ballroom at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco.

I suspect that cooler heads have prevailed at Microsoft after all the frenetic Yahoo acquisition shenanigans and that a Yahoo acquisition won’t happen anytime soon. However, the temptation for a cash-rich company like Microsoft to pick up some big bargains in a depressed stock market will be hard to resist.

Filed under Acquisitions, Coopetition, Executives, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, Yahoo

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