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Steamed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is ready to take on Yahoo in a proxy fight should they refuse to be assimilated into the company.
Microsoft's CEO delivers Yahoo board final ultimatum

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, not typically known for being a reserved businessman, is on the verge of losing his patience with Yahoo, he announced in a letter to Yahoo's board.  Ballmer is a strong advocate of the merger, but the board despite arranging some meetings with Yahoo management and Microsoft management last month, has done little to consider the merger since rejecting Microsoft's $44.6B USD offer.

In fact the board has actively fought getting swallowed into the Microsoft empire, by acquiring additional advertising through Maven and releasing new services.  They also tried futility to broker a deal with rival Google for joint advertising.  Yahoo refuses to accept Microsoft's valuation of the company, despite the fact that it is significantly above their stock price.  Yahoo insists their company is worth substantially more.

In his letter Ballmer expressed frustration at this "limited interaction," stating that what little action the pair had was not "meaningful."  He states that this is "unfortunate."  Ballmer fumes, "Our goal in making such a generous offer was to create the basis for a speedy and ultimately friendly transaction. Despite this, the pace of the last two months has been anything but speedy."

Ballmer writes that Yahoo has two choices -- accept the offer within three weeks and prepare for the merger in earnest or face a proxy battle in which Microsoft will seek to oust the Yahoo's board of directors and replace them with a new pro-Microsoft board.

Microsoft increasing aggression in its hostile takeover attempt seems to confirm reports by analyst that Microsoft would not raise its bid, which offers a 62 percent premium on the company.  Ballmer writes angrily, "The public equity markets and overall economic conditions have weakened considerably.  At the same time, public indicators suggest that Yahoo!’s search and page view shares have declined. Finally, you have adopted new plans at the company that have made any change of control more costly."

Microsoft hopes to avoid a proxy battle, but is willing to enter one if necessary.  Such a battle would be costly both financially and to the reputation of Microsoft.  However, it would be particularly costly to Yahoo, which would be rocked by having its board deposed.  Ballmer states that if the terms are not met, the proxy battle will begin in three weeks.  Warns Ballmer, "If we are forced to take an offer directly to your shareholders, that action will have an undesirable impact on the value of your company."

A Yahoo spokesman would not comment on the letter.  For the full Ballmer letter, refer here.


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RE: Don't take this article seriously.
By mankopi on 4/6/2008 7:48:43 PM , Rating: 5
Thank goodness someone else noticed this. I dont know if Jason has stocks with Apple because all he does is exaggerate any negatives about microsoft and ignore the positives. Read his "NEWS" about Apple, compare that with "NEWS" about Microsoft. Hey Jason, if you hate microsoft so much, you need to find another way of doing your job because it is now obvious you cannot be objective in reporting NEWS. Maybe you should focus more on OPINIONS.


RE: Don't take this article seriously.
By Domicinator on 4/6/2008 9:38:10 PM , Rating: 5
I try to call him out whenever I see one of these stories on DailyTech. I always know when I see certain headlines that I am going to click on them and see that they are written by Jason Mick. And they are almost always accompanied by a crazy picture of Ballmer. (Not that Ballmer doesn't bring that on himself.) DailyTech claims that Jason Mick doesn't even own a Mac. I call shenanigans. He writes these anti-Microsoft articles in an exaggerated way that only a Mac fanboy can write.

In the long run it doesn't matter. Apple saw a big jump in Mac sales when the Intel machines started hitting the market. Now the Windows users can have cool looking hardware while still being able to use Boot Camp to run Windows. In other words, they get the good looks without having to use Mac OS. That makes Apple just another hardware maker.


By DerwenArtos12 on 4/7/2008 3:31:04 AM , Rating: 3
You clearly haven't talked to any die-hard penguins lately if you think a macapheliac is the only type of person who could/would sensationalize a story pertaining to microsoft in a negative light.


By Quiescent on 4/7/2008 9:52:00 AM , Rating: 2
No. I think you're mistaken. Apple doesn't make their hardware. They just design what macs should looks like. Personally I think the macbooks don't look stylish at all.

Anyways. I agree. There is some biased articles here.

However, because of how Steve Ballmer is, he's my hero. He's so crazy it's funny. Steve Jobs is crazy, but he's not funny crazy.


By cochy on 4/6/2008 11:25:52 PM , Rating: 3
If memory serves he's written critically about Apple at times.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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