Yahoo rejects a new Microsoft deal
July 13, 2008 12:20pm CST
Yahoo said Saturday it has rejected a "ludicrous" deal with Microsoft orchestrated by corporate raider Carl Icahn, who is bent on overthrowing the struggling Internet search pioneer's board. Yahoo said a "take it or leave it" proposal made by Icahn and Microsoft on Friday called for a massive restructuring of the California firm and the sale of its online search business to the US software colossus. "This odd and opportunistic alliance of Microsoft and Carl Icahn has anything but the interests of Yahoo's stockholders in mind," Yahoo board chairman Roy Bostock said in a release. "While this type of erratic and unpredictable behavior is consistent with what we have come to expect from Microsoft, we will not be bludgeoned into a transaction that is not in the best interests of our stockholders." Bostock called any notion of accepting the offer "ludicrous," saying it was crafted without input from Yahoo and weighted mightily in Microsoft's favor. Microsoft and Icahn gave the Yahoo board less than 24 hours to decide on the offer, which was non-negotiable, according to Bostock. The deal called for Yahoo's board to be immediately replaced by an Icahn-led slate and the removal of top Yahoo executives, with co-founder and chief executive Jerry Yang presumably heading the list. US billionaire Icahn, who has amassed a stake in Yahoo and accuses the board of botching earlier takeover talks with Microsoft, has been trying to convince shareholders to back his slate at a vote during an August 1 annual meeting. "Microsoft and Mr. Icahn are trying to dismantle the company and deliver our search business to Microsoft on terms that would be disadvantageous to Yahoo stockholders," Bostock said. "We are prepared to let our stockholders, not Microsoft and Carl Icahn, decide what is in their best interests and we look forward to the upcoming vote." Yahoo maintains that a search alliance it made with Google in the wake of failed tie-up talks with Microsoft is a smarter deal than the one brought to its doorstep by Icahn. Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo for 44.6 billion dollars in stock and cash on January 31, but withdrew its offer on May 3, saying Yahoo refused to budge despite the software giant upping its offer to nearly 50 billion dollars. Yahoo later tried to revive talks with Microsoft, with Yahoo rejecting an offer to buy only its search business and Microsoft saying it was no longer interested in buying all of Yahoo. Microsoft had wanted Yahoo to better battle Google, which claims the lion's share of the multi-billion-dollar Internet search and advertising market. After ending talks with Microsoft, Yahoo announced an alliance with rival Google to put the Internet search king's expertise to work pumping money from its floundering rival's online advertising. Yahoo predicts the Google alliance will boost its revenues by 250 to 450 million dollars in its first year. The plan is being reviewed by the US regulators. Bostock said that while spurning the Icahn-Microsoft offer Yahoo made it clear it is open to selling the entire company to Microsoft for at least 33 dollars per share, the offer that began the failed courtship. Yahoo's stock price finished the Friday trading day on Wall Street at 23.57 dollars per share. http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/mp/4785789/yahoo-rejects-new-microsoft-deal
• United States
14 Jul 08
I have to wonder if this isn't all the beginnings of the rumor that in a few years, you will have to pay for internet time. You pay for a ISP, and then you have to pay for time on the internet. Similar to how dial up used to work - free 10 hours a month for no charge, but to get more time, you had to pay a monthly fee. And if Microsoft can buy up the free browsers like Yahoo, then they can own the interent and do with it as they please.