Speaking at the “Web 2.0″ conference in San Francisco earlier this week Yahoo CEO seemed to invite Microsoft to make another acquisition bid for the portal. “To this day the best thing for Microsoft to do is buy Yahoo,” the BBC quotes Yang telling interviewer John Battelle. This morning, from Australia, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer decided not to take Yang’s advice. “We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition,” Ballmer said.
Reaffirmation of Microsoft’s position that it wouldn’t try again to buy Yahoo sent the latter’s shares down in early trading. However, given the history, this probably doesn’t represent the last chapter in the MicroHoo drama.
Notwithstanding Ballmer’s statements about not being interested in the company as a whole, Microsoft would probably still be open to a search-related deal should Yahoo change its position on the issue. (Yahoo previously said it didn’t want to sell its search business alone because it was too important and ties in with its display ad strategy going forward.)
Assuming no Microsoft bid whatsoever, Yahoo could still do some sort of M&A deal with AOL (discussions there appear to be on hold, however) or it could simply go it alone and manage through the recession, trying to execute on its various initiatives that have been rolling out over the past several months: APT, YOS, etc.
There’s more discussion on Techmeme.