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back to article Microsoft: Yes! We're! talking! to! Icahn!

Microsoft confirmed today that it has been talking to Carl Icahn about possibly taking over Yahoo! should he succeed in ousting the board of directors. Since officially pulling out of talks after failing to agree on a price for Yahoo! Microsoft has kept quiet about its attitude to Icahn, who has built up a shareholding in Yahoo …

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Alert

Ocahn offers a simple choice

The choice Icahn offers Yahoo stockholders is very simple:

1. Continue running Yahoo like Yang's playground and screw the owners (shareholders).

2. Run Yahoo like a business and make the decisions that bring the owners the greatest value the soonest possible.

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Er...

"Ballmer would not negotiate any deal with Yahoo!'s current management."

That sounds a pretty good argument for keeping them!

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Search

Yahoo! was always crap at Search & I seldom used it. BUT I have been a Yahoo! user since '95. If Yahoo! dumps it's Search, it can then concentrate on what it does well: Mail, Groups, Photo's & News (but I expect the latter is part of it's Search engine.)

Yang, flog the Search engine!

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Flame

And in other news..

..Icahn demonstrates he has always been just trying to play for Microsoft, so would happily follow the 'Microsoft way' of assimilate and destroying competition!

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Gates Horns

I'll fix a grammar error for you

Icahn promised that should his board be elected they would:

1. Destroy Yahoo, collect the loot, and laugh all the way into the next tier of billionaire row, while all the grunts at Yahoo! gets screwed.

HTH.

Shouldn't the SEC get involved now that Microsoft has talked? Wouldn't that be the kind of information that could alter the votes of some, and thus fall under the various tampering laws in place?

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Gates Horns

Bloody Icahn

why does this man just HAVE to be a pain and try and ruin the life of those of us who use YAHOO and line his already ample pockets just for the sake of it??

I'll boycott anything MS and Yahoo related if this goes ahead and encourage anyone else to do so too...

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Linux

I Can't believe it !

Well well so he's just a stalking horse for M$ - there is a surprise - NOT !

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Alert

anyone else read icann?

Mr Icahn chosen for his name no doubt.

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Jobs Horns

Is any of this a surprise?

Microsoft is about the most corrupt company since Standard Oil. No ethics or morals can get what Microsoft wants. And the Bush administration will just look the other way and let them get on with it.

I always said if Microsoft was a European company, the American government would not let this happen. Simple as that. Oversight, pull the other one!

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Anonymous Coward

SEC should investigate

If MS bought the company then they could sack the management anyway. They don't need management agreement to buy it, they could launch a proxy fight themselves. They don't need the pre-sacking of the management, they could put in a offer now.

So the only purpose of this game is to devalue the company by presacking the management via this faux proxy 'activist investor' Icahn, then buy it cheaper than it's value IMHO.

In a buyout, the shareholders only care that they got the full price, which is $40 at least, $37 for a fire sale, not $33, not $23, not $10...

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Who's playing who's game?

How many companies in the '80s and '90s severely damaged themselves trying to out-Microsoft Microsoft?

Novell did it by trying to be an applications company, most famously with the purchase, and one year later 90% discount sale, of WordPerfect, but also with lots of lesser known projects including games such as "Hard Evidence: The Marilyn Monroe Files".

IBM did it by spending gobs of time and resources on making OS/2 able to host Windows 3.0 applications, wasting the native advantages of OS/2 by making it seem like nothing more than an expensive street corner for Windows to stand on.

And now here's Microsoft, apparently going to have a stroke if they can't out-Google Google. Ads? Search? If Microsoft was any good at the online thing, MSN would be notable for something other than staying funded year after year.

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Gates Halo

Yahoo!'s Dead! Anyway! & M$ Haters Are Disingenuous.

I'm pretty sure that the moment Yahoo! signed a deal with Google, was the moment that Yahoo! threw in the towel as a separate entity. Portals are dead, Yahoo is a distant runner-up in search, free e-mail is ubiquitous, free IM is ubiquitous; and now they are paying Google to serve up ad revenue. I'm pretty sure the intelligent stock holders heard the toilet flush / sense the circular motion towards sewer. FYI - Corporations don't exist to serve the employees or the product users/buyers. The exist to serve the stockholders. That may suck in your opinion, but welcome to capitalism. If you live in the west, your alternatives are accept reality or move to a commune (without computers). If you are a Yahoo shareholder and aren't pissed about the lack of sale, then you are probably a pretty poor investor (or to be fair - a Yahoo employee afraid of losing their job after sale to M$ would have a legitimate out). Frankly, companies make plenty of stupid long-term operation decisions based on the need to make numbers to satisfy the current quarter, but that is also the nature of capitalism. When you open your company up to public investment, then you should expect to serve the whim of the stock holders.

I also find it freaking hillareous that whenever an article includes anything related to M$, the comments become a vent fest for how aweful Microsoft is. I've worked for and with quite a few different corporations - once they are of a certain size, they are all self-serving, winner take-all monoliths. Why? Because you have to be that way to become a large corporation. M$ is no more evil than Apple, Intel, IBM, GE, etc. ;> - which is to say they are all evil, life-sucking, vampires, but again - welcome to capitalism. Right now IMHO, Apple is twice as evil as M$ - based on their perfection in sheep-herding marekting-based capitalism alone (look at the the plethra of iNamed devices and tell me whether the sales are driven by innovation or by really really good marketing - I think taking advantage of people through marketing is evil, but hey that's opinion right?). Quit bitching about M$ if you aren't going to bitch about every other major corporation - they all suck in some readily identifiable way. (Just in case someone mentions google in the flames - "Do No Harm" - ROFLCOPTER).

Anyway, why hate M$? Even if Bill and Co. hadn't stolen the GUI from Apple, which stole the GUI from Xerox, people would have trended to one major OS sooner or later - it makes life easier. VHS beat Beta, Blueray won out, etc. Someone sooner or later was going to be ruthless enough capture the mass user's attention - if you like capitalism, you can't hate M$ for being the most successful marketer.

Bill w/ Halo - Because I enjoy annoying the M$ haters - just on principle if nothing else.

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Silver badge

TWA?

Anyone remember TWA? You might find a certain name associated with its demise.

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another looming embarrassment for Ballmer

Microsoft has not made a tender offer to accomapny the proxy fight, yet Icann's only plan is to sell Yahoo to Microsoft. Would you give your entire Board to this man? If you say yes, then sell me your house. I'll tell you the price after you commit to the transfer.

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Paris Hilton

@Capitalist AC

I'm not very fond of the deregulated capitalism we seem to have gotten our selves into. It's getting so bad that I can see serfdom for the masses.

I dislike Microsoft because they have no ethics; a business is made of men and for those men to be unethical is wrong. If it's because of capitalism then that is wrong and must be replaced. but I doubt that is the case, it's more likely that capitalism isn't a silver bullet for society, business and the market place but rather yet another imperfect mechanism that needs to have guidance and caveats brought in to keep it from running away. In fact I rather think it's several mechanisms some of which could be dispensed with.

Just look at the Fed/Banking situation in the USA and think about weather anarchistic capitalism is really what Milton Friedman and Adam Smith had in mind.

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Pirate

Don't touch!

I use Yahoo mail because I like the way they handle it. I don't use Microsoft's because I do not trust anything Microsoft touches. Touch Yahoo and I'll dump'em faster than you can say "fast."

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Capitalism...

...good idea... bad implementation... A free market will eventually end up in monopolys... simply because that's it's natural state. A properly regulated free market would provide more competition

thus ensuring better innovation and better turnover and would be beneficial to all parties involved.

Bring in the regulators!!!

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Anonymous Coward

$40 a share under Yang, Firesale under Icahn

"The choice Icahn offers Yahoo stockholders is very simple"...

Microsoft offered $40 a share under Yang. Icahn wants to replace the board and do a deal for $33. But there's no offer on the table and once he's forced a fire sale, he'll get firesale prices.

The Icahn camp simply attack Yang, because the substance of their idea is behead and firesale.

If the shareholders wanted to replace Yang, it wouldn't be with stooges from Icahn looking to line Icahn pocket. He didn't get rich growing business for shareholders, he got rich in games like this.

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Gates Horns

@Capitalist AC

So Capitalism is the shizz but telling some about your product is "evil". Aggressive marketing, is that where the Capitalist Cops come round and stuff Walkers Crisps down your trap whilst screaming "Forget Smith's, they never existed!.... Punk !". Truly, a terrible, evil vision of the future.

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." Adam Smith

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Paris Hilton

...out of the woodwork!

God how I love to hate the Microsofties and the way they defend Microsoft in anything they do. They also seem to post as 'Anonymous Coward' a lot.

You posting the response to this article from the Redmond campus?

Paris? At least she is nicer on the eye than Gates or Ballmer.

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@Dave

I thought you were using a regular expression for the title there...

(GEEK!)

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Dead Vulture

Imagine this

You have a nice house and a large garden but it's not at it's best,a few years old and could do with some repairs but in general good nick etc...then nice Mr Ballimer down the road asks to purchase it, if you please, as it's got a few features he like and it partially blocks his viewof the waterfront/mountains/fields/etc. You say no and do what you can to stop him buying it. He then bullies your family to make you sell it...blah blah he gives up. Then he gets some bloke to go and threaten your bank manager to foreclose, your friends to be off and your family in a varierty of ways, all to make you sell it so he can take a cut.....you decide to gove him the one fingered salute by inviting the ladyfriend to join you there. You take in a lodger too. Your cash flow looks better....but Mr Greedy Corporate Guy wants to make you sell your house no matter what because he wants more money that even a Cray could count!

So; there is a point to that story, I don't hate M$, I don't adulate Yahoo!, but what is being done here is wrong and should not be allowed to proceed.....selfish, nasty and greedy men ruining people's life's work just to make a fast buck and even some scores. The Big Guns being subject to a law entirely of their own and their arrogance allowed free rein! Thank god that here in Europe, M$ got it's butt kicked and told that it doesn't run the world...Icahn should be charged with Corporate Blackmail and Harrassment but of course he will not be because he's incredibly wealthy and makes a lot of money for a lot of people....what a sad state our world is in...

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not again!

i just renewed my flickr pro account a few weeks back, when it looked like microsoft had finally given up trying to takeover yahoo! - now they're back at it again. the day microsoft get their hands on yahoo! [and by extension] flickr is the day i close my account.

and i'm far from being the only one. it's going to be 'scorched earth policy' time at yahoo! if microsoft do win out, they'll have spent a hell of a lot of money for possession of some smoking ruins.

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Gates Horns

Nice to see something never change

Try to low ball Yahoo shareholders has M$ up to there usual corporate goodness.

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Happy

M$ has no choice!

When it comes to growing their search share from 10% to something that even comes close to Google ~70% they have no other choice but to acquire Yahoo (~20%) at all cost. Yahoo right now is essentially setting on gold at least for the next two years so Yang is right not to sell. I think he will be able to get $50 a share a year from now when M$ see that their current attempts to grow their search share has failed faster than M$ BOB. Well then again they can try to leverage the windows monopoly, but then again people are just not upgrading from good old winXP. M$ must be feeling like the Linux growd these days, that no matter how hard they try, they still can grow their market share to any practical level.

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Why The Desperation??

Why is MS so desperate to land a deal with Yahoo to the point that it will even go to the extent of undermining yahoo's board?Is Ms telling us that its online future now solely hinges on this deal with yahoo?Are there no other viable options besides this acquisition path?Why Microsoft Should Forego the Acquisitions Route(http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=625&doc_id=158193&F_src=flftwo)

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will be a long story

I think that it will be long time for the deal Yahoo/Microsoft!!! I am a domainer and personaly I do not like Yahoo so much too. Did anyone here got domain registration with Yahoo? They just increase domain renewal price from about $12 to over $30. This price will be applied in July. This makes domainers to be crazy and many of them transfer domain names out to Godaddy.com or LuckyRegister.com... If Microsoft takes Yahoo, this may not happen since Microsoft is more professional than Yahoo for this field.

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