Kara Swisher reports that Microsoft made a standard polite offer for Yahoo earlier this week, after Yahoo’s depressing earnings report, and that Jerry Yang once again told Microsoft to take a hike. So Microsoft did–right to the court of public opinion:
Sources at Yahoo tell me that Microsoft made its most recent overtures right after Yahoo announced its earnings Tuesday and then told Yahoo execs they had two days to respond or Microsoft would go public with the offer.
When Yahoo balked at the heavy-handed tactic, guess what? Microsoft went public.
Kara says Yahoo is stunned by the move:
A number of top executives I spoke to today were flabbergasted by what is essentially a hostile move by Microsoft. Yahoo’s Jerry Yang has been rebuffing such advances, made both privately and in veiled references in public by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
“I woke up this morning and couldn’t believe that they did it,” said one exec. “They had made a lot of overtures, but this was astonishing. I could not believe Microsoft would be so aggressive.”
As we’ve said, we don’t think there will be any other viable bidders, and we think Yahoo’s battered shareholders will view the offer as manna from heaven and insist that Jerry take it. A brilliant play by Microsoft…
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