After Microsoft rejected Yahoo's demands for more money by dropping its merger offer, all eyes were on the electronics giant to see what it'd do next. Soon thereafter, rumors built when Yahoo's leadership, blasted by shareholders, spoke with the press conveying that they had suddenly regained interest in cutting a deal with Microsoft. Now Microsoft Chairman and founder Bill Gates has essentially silenced these rumors, making it clear that Microsoft had no plans for other deals.
Defending his company against allegations that they didn't try hard enough to deal with Yahoo, Gates stated, "a lot of effort" was put into trying to work out a deal and that the pair should pursue "independent paths". Gates continued, "Now at this point Microsoft is focused on its independent strategy."
The press conference in Tokyo marked a departure from early comments on Tuesday in South Korea, when he indicated that Microsoft might be willing to deal. Ironically over the same time period Yahoo seems to have turned around its stance in public comments, to indicate desire for a deal.
If Microsoft were to consider a deal, it certainly wouldn't be very tough. The majority shareholder has said that $34 a share would be a fair price and Steve Ballmer verbally stated that Microsoft would pay as much as $33 a share (higher than the original $31 a share bid). This could sweeten the deal for Yahoo shareholders who disliked that Microsoft's stock had fallen, devaluing the originally offered price which was half stock.
Yahoo's management had insisted on $37 a share, but to put that in perspective, it's been two years since the company's stock was that high. After the deal collapsed, Yahoo's leadership changed their tune saying they might have taken lower bids, but during negotiations they were quite adamant in their discussions with the press.
Gates said that rather than turn to Yahoo to try to gain an upper hand on stronger competitor Google, a number of meetings are planned to try to turn around Microsoft's online fortune. Both Yahoo and Microsoft significantly trail Google in advertising and search metrics. While Gates would offer no specifics, he stated, "We will make the advances that give people a great choice there."
News sources have speculated that Microsoft could partner with Time Warner Inc.'s AOL and News Corp.'s MySpace or other large companies in the future. Other possibilities raised were LinkedIn or possibly a larger deal with Facebook, the second largest social network which Microsoft already own a 1.6 percent stake in. However, Gates comments gave no indication that any deals or partnerships were in the near future.
quote: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gives TONS of cash to different charitable entities every year.
quote: "Come to me little boys..."
quote: News sources have speculated that Microsoft could partner with Time Warner Inc.'s AOL and News Corp.'s MySpace or other large companies in the future.
quote: How about creating an IMPROVED WinXP, and sell that, the way Apple does with their O/S ?
quote: Tomorrow's headline: Shareholders want Yang's head on a stick!