Microsoft vs. Yahoo: First duel, then merge?

Microsoft signals hostile intentions, and Yahoo fights back. Yes, this is surely the way to beat Google.

Topics: Microsoft, Google,

Over the weekend Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, brought out the big guns in his effort to strike Yahoo into oblivion … er, that is, acquire the company as part of a successful Internet venture. In a letter to Yahoo’s board, Ballmer charged Yahoo with failing to take seriously Microsoft’s offer to buy Yahoo for $31 per share.

Yahoo rejected that offer weeks ago, but in his letter Ballmer balked at raising it. Indeed, he threatened to take his case to Yahoo’s shareholders, and to pay less than $31: “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 from our perspective which will be reflected in the terms of our proposal.”

Today, Yahoo shot back with its own letter, one that says, more or less, “our rejection stands.” Yahoo adds:

We are confident that our stockholders understand that our independent Board is best positioned to objectively and knowledgeably evaluate our Company’s alternatives and to maximize value.

You Might Also Like

Kara Swisher likens this fight to “Atonement” — a movie “starting to feel 20 minutes too long and without a clear ending, except for tears all around.”

She’s right; this doesn’t make any sense: Microsoft wants to force Yahoo into a happy marriage? Even when firms get together voluntarily, most mergers don’t work. Hostile mergers, born out of contempt and suspicion, would surely face a tougher struggle.

But now Microsoft’s backed itself into a corner. In his letter, Ballmer gives Yahoo three weeks to accept an offer, or else Microsoft will begin to rally shareholders against the Yahoo board.

The weeks will pass, Yahoo will dither, Microsoft will pound its chest, and Google — oh, those guys must be loving this!

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>