Yahoo! releases statement: Glad that's over
With all the talk of Microsoft's bid for Yahoo! leading nowhere, there's one important thing to keep in mind: Yahoo! never said it was looking for a buyer. Microsoft's takeover offer never quite got "hostile," but it was unsolicted nonetheless. So now that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has decided to take his ball and go home, we probably shouldn't be surprised that Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang released a statement saying "With the distraction of Microsoft's unsolicited proposal now behind us, we will be able to focus all of our energies" on other things, you know, like making the company as valuable as Yang and the shareholders told Microsoft it already is.
Kara Swisher at All Things Digital has written an interesting article choc full of information from those close to the negotiations. In a nutshell, she says that Yang was originally holding out for Microsoft to offer $40 a share, which was a good $10 or $11 higher than the value of the offer this week. Ballmer was reportedly willing to go as high as $33, while Yang was willing to come down to $37. But once Yang said that Yahoo! would respond to any proxy fight initiated by Microsoft by expanding its partnership with Google, things seemed to fall apart.
It's not clear whether Yahoo! will continue to seek more deals with companies like Google and AOL now that the Microsoft deal is no more. But this raises an interesting question: were Yang and company protecting their brand and their shareholders, or was this a dumb move from a company that's not as relevant as it once was?