Speaking at a conference in Milan today, Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer upped the pressure on Yahoo! (YHOO) by threatening to walk. Specifically, he said that Microsoft “is offering a lot of money. If Yahoo’s shareholders like it, that’s great. We are prepared to go forward without a merger with Yahoo.”
Ballmer’s comments follow a solid Q1 earnings release for Yahoo! which prompted some analysts (including Henry Blodget) to suggest that Microsoft would have to raise its premium. With these comments, Ballmer is increasing his threat level from “proxy fight and reduced bid” to “no bid.”
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