Monday, April 07, 2008

Yaw Who?

Today Microsoft gave Yahoo an ultimatum with regard to their offer...

Ooooooh.... who couldn't see this one coming a mile away? I mean, it's so atypical for Microsoft... NOT.

When you have a "friendly" suitor that uses this kind of language when they're in "friendly mode" - just imagine what fun it will be when they're pissed off:

Steve Ballmer: "If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders, including the initiation of a proxy contest to elect an alternative slate of directors for the Yahoo board."


Now for the threat (also from Steve 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 from our perspective, which will be reflected in the terms of our proposal."

Also nice and friendly.

Not to be undone, Jerry Wang, CEO of Yahoo responded in a strongly worded press release:

Jerry Wang: "We regret to say that your letter mischaracterizes the nature of our discussions with you. We have had constructive conversations together regarding a variety of topics, including integration and regulatory issues. Your comment that we have refused to enter into negotiations to conclude an agreement are particularly curious given we have already rejected your initial proposal, nominally $31 per share at the time, for substantially undervaluing Yahoo! and your suggestions in your letter and the media that you are considering lowering the value of your proposal. Moreover, Steve, you personally attended two of these meetings and could have advanced discussions in any way you saw fit."

My take is Jerry saying: "Nuh-uh! It's not fair. But if you give us more money, we will like you."

Ummmm... no disrespect to Mr. Wang - but in general, what Microsoft wants, Microsoft gets. It'll be interesting to see what happens - but my guess is that if a proxy battle doesn't give it to Microsoft, either they will up the offer or just proceed to crush them into a fine powder in the marketplace.

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