Microsoft Waiting By The Phone For Carol's Call

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Yes, Microsoft (MSFT) really, really wants a search deal with Yahoo (YHOO).

Two weeks ago, Steve Ballmer said so in a meeting with financial analysts. Then last week, Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell said the same thing. Now it’s COO Kevin Turner’s go — in an interview with the Times (UK) today, Kevin all but begs Yahoo to make a deal.

“We’ve certainly made her aware and the Yahoo! board aware that if they are ever interested in an opportunity to partner with them on search, we’d like to sit down and at least have the conversation. It has to make economic sense to both parties.”

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz so far is keeping her promise not to negotiate in public. But just over the weekend Yahoo won approval to to take anti-takeover provisions out of its severance plan, smoothing the way for any Microsoft overture.

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