Microsoft (MSFT) responds to Yahoo’s earnings by raising the ante again in one last-ditch, trans-Atlantic attempt to get Yahoo (YHOO) to cave. Speaking at a conference in Milan, Steve Ballmer said he has already made a big offer and suggested that Microsoft is getting ready to walk:
“We are offering a lot of money,” Ballmer said today at a Microsoft conference in Milan. “If Yahoo’s shareholders like it, that’s great. We are prepared to go forward without a merger with Yahoo.”
Note that, once again, Steve is not saying “We won’t raise the bid.” This is the second day in a row he has implied that without actually saying it.
We expect this latest public threat will be accompanied by a soft outreach to Yahoo’s bankers saying “If you come to the table, we’ll raise the bid,” but maybe not. Note that Ballmer is not threatening to go forward with a proxy fight. He’s threatening to chop Yahoo’s stock to $20 overnight.
Here’s a link to what is supposedly a video of the interview (thanks to the SAI reader who posted). The sound doesn’t work for us, but hopefully it will for you.
*Several readers think Ballmer’s remarks here are taken out of context. We don’t know whether it’s our crappy non-Windows software or what, but we can’t get audio on the video. Unless Bloomberg actually misquoted Ballmer, we’re going to stick with the story, but many readers apparently interpret Ballmer’s remarks differently.
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