Ballmer: The Time For Yahoo Search Deal Is Now (YHOO)

Last we heard from Jerry, he was finally ready to do a search deal with Microsoft (MSFT). And now, apparently, Steve Ballmer is ready to listen.

FT: The best time for a search pact between the companies was during the current management transition at both companies, Mr Ballmer said [in an interview with the FT today].

“We now have someone in place running our online business, and Yahoo’s out looking for a CEO.

“If a search deal is to be made, it’s probably to be made in the interim period for new leaders in both places.”

“We had a deal on the table that they didn’t choose to take, but I still think that makes sense,” Mr Ballmer said.

What’s really going on here?  In part, Steve’s playing poker.  He probably thinks he’ll get a better deal with Yahoo in purgatory (and he’s probably right). 

But time is a-wasting.  Google’s lead is growing by the month. Microsoft and Yahoo’s position weakens by the month.  It is in both companies’ interest to get this deal done immediately, new CEO or no.

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