Saturday, 8 November 2008

"We've moved on" says Ballmer

(By Richard Holway) Since Microsoft first suggested acquiring Yahoo, I have advised “Don’t do it”. I believed they were fighting yesterday’s battle. Indeed, I thought Microsoft’s Cloud announcements a couple of weeks back were exactly the right move. I had a very supportive email from the top of Microsoft UK to my comments and I now wonder if these got seen by CEO Steve Ballmer? Probably not!

"We made an offer, we made another offer ... We moved on," Steve Ballmer told a business lunch in Sydney on Friday. "We tried at one point to do a partnership around search ... and that didn't work either, and we moved on and they moved on. We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition. I don't know why they would be either, frankly".

Mind you, whether Ballmer really means this is another matter. As in everything, it comes down to price. Yahoo closed Friday at $12.20 compared to c$33 - some 60% lower than the price suggested in the earlier Microsoft approach. Ballmer might still want Yahoo’s search business even if he didn’t want the distraction of the other, more overlapping bits. You can read more on FT 8th Nov 08 Microsoft rules out Yahoo takeover.

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