Don’t know how we missed this one, but Jerry Yang and Steve Ballmer apparently played golf together last weekend–an outing presumably planned by stymied matchmakers trying to find a more casual setting in which to melt the ice. The pair didn’t reach a deal, of course, but that’s not what we’re most interested in. We want to know who won.
Oh, and Yahoo’s still hinting madly in the WSJ that it wants an offer. And no news is presumably bad news for that much-ballyhooed Google-Yahoo search deal. From the WSJ:
Steve Ballmer met Jerry Yang for a round of golf this past weekend to discuss a deal for Yahoo’s search-advertising business. But there was no indication that the software titan remained interested in acquiring Yahoo outright, people familiar with the matter said…
Deal talks between the two companies have intensified in recent days, but Microsoft has yet to put forth a detailed plan indicating how much its offer would be valued at, the people said. “They are discussing various other partnerships and ideas with us, and we are listening,” said Mr. Yang at The Wall Street Journal D: All Things Digital conference Wednesday.
It remains unclear whether the talks will delay or even derail a separate search-advertising deal Yahoo has been discussing with Google. That Google pact — designed to significantly increase Yahoo’s cash flow — has taken longer than some expected to finalise and announce.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has signaled to Yahoo that he might prefer the Google deal if Microsoft isn’t willing to pursue a full acquisition, according to the people familiar with the situation. Mr. Icahn, who has filed a proxy slate to unseat Yahoo’s board and force an acquisition by Microsoft, has doubts about the value of a Microsoft-Yahoo search-advertising deal, the people said.
Yahoo’s management and board would be receptive to a new, full-company offer from Microsoft but have no indication that the software company is interested in making a fresh approach, the people said.