That lunchtime meeting between Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock was actually a threesome with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes filling out the trifecta, according to Kara Swisher.
Hopefully they were hammering out a Microsoft-Yahoo search deal. Hopefully any AOL-Yahoo merger discussed involves lots and lots of erased redundancies.
Kara Swisher hopes the three discussed a complicated three-way merger:
Instead of Yahoo doing the acquisition, which it can ill afford with its depressed stock price, Microsoft (MSFT) buys AOL for $4 billion to $5 billion.
It then quickly spins AOL’s content, advertising and communication assets into Yahoo (YHOO), nabbing the search business, throws in some cash as an investment and perhaps even its MSN assets. Microsoft gets a large stake in the newco.
Time Warner (TWX) gets the cash from the AOL sale and perhaps even a stake in the newco, along with perhaps striking some kind of interesting online deal for the rest of its copious media assets with it.
One question: We know she’s busy settling in, but we have to wonder: why was Roy at the meeting and not new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz? Aren’t Roy’s fingerprints all over the disaster that was Yahoo in 2008?
Any flies on the wall at the meeting should report to [email protected] or 646-747-1539.