Another chapter in the 'Microhoo' love story

Mon 12 January 2009 10:07, Bas van den Beld

Another chapter in the 'Microhoo' love story

The never ending love-story between Yahoo and Microsoft has gained another chapter when Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer told the Financial Times that if a deal between the two would be made, now would be a good time. "We had a deal on the table that they didn't choose to take, but I still think that makes sense," he stated.

Ballmer also told the newspaper "If a search deal is to be made, it's probably to be made in the interim period for new leaders in both places." Yahoo has been looking for a new CEO since the departure of Jerry Yang two months ago.

Yahoo is said to be close to appointing that new CEO in the person of Yahoo President Sue Decker. Another name which is currently ‘buzzing around’ is that of Carol Bartz, former chief executive of the design software company Autodesk.

Sue Decker (left) and Carol Bartz

Meanwhile Microsoft hired former Yahoo search chief Qi Lu as head of online operations. With him in charge Microsoft hopes to make a fluent transition when the deal is actually made.

Microsoft is still only interested in Yahoo’s search engine and search advertising business. In the FT-interview Ballmer ruled out a full acquisition. He also hinted Microsoft would not pay the price it offered Yahoo last year. "Everything's down," he said. "Are asset values correct? I don't know - things could go north quickly from here or south quickly from here….  In general, mergers and acquisitions are probably tougher in a time of economic turmoil because nobody's quite sure where asset values will go."

So far Yahoo hasn’t commented yet on Ballmers’ words.

To be continued…

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