Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft (MSFT) are talking again, say TechCrunch, CNET, and an SAI source.
TechCrunch’s sources say the two are talking about a full buyout. One of our sources was highly sceptical of this. A second source said “TechCrunch is 1000% wrong.”
CNET thinks they’re talking about just a search deal. Our sources agree that this is likely (though one was not even certain the companies were talking).
On a search deal, we would be surprised if Yahoo caved and agreed to talk unless Microsoft substantially boosted the terms of the deal it offered two weeks ago. Even if Yahoo is in full panic mode–which, given the plummet of the stock price and the departure of many senior execs, seems possible–we can’t see the company being pathetic enough to welch on its deal with Google and go crawling back to Microsoft without a major excuse for doing so.
If the companies are talking about a full buyout–which our source insists they aren’t–it is almost certainly at a price lower than the $33 Microsoft offered a month or so ago. There is no reason on earth for Microsoft to pay that much now that reeling Yahoo has dropped to $21 again. Yahoo shareholders, in fact, would probably be grateful for $25.
As to Microsoft’s official response, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington intelligently observes that Microsoft’s “No Comment” is a change of position from yesterday.
Microsoft official comment is “no comment,” which actually contains more information than it appears to. For well over a month, Microsoft has officially been saying they’re no longer interested in Yahoo. They didn’t say that today.