Yahoo-Microsoft Deal Not Likely, Says Fortune

Buried in Fortune’s profile of new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz is a rebuttal of recent reports that the company plans to sell its search business to Microsoft in exchange for Microsoft’s display business:

One short-term move she likely won’t make: selling Yahoo. Bartz has told associates she isn’t interested in hawking Yahoo or its search business to Microsoft or anyone else. It isn’t that she dreams of overtaking Google, a coup she has privately said is unrealistic. Instead Bartz believes she can use Yahoo’s second-place search position to revolutionise online advertising, and in the process restore Yahoo’s status as a digital superstar.

We’re sceptical. This is a magazine we’re talking about, so this reporting is probably two months out of date. Carol played coy about this deal in the beginning, and we think it’s mostly a negotiation tactic. Besides, too many publications, like AllThingsD, have already reported that Carol and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met recently to discuss a deal.

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