Ballmer says “No” to a post-Yang Yahoo buyout

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Ending speculation that another Microsoft-Yahoo deal may be on the table after the exit of Jerry Yang, Steve Ballmer said at a Wednesday shareholder meeting “Let me be clear. We are done with all acquisition discussions with Yahoo.” His announcement sent Yahoo’s shares into a 20% nosedive, closing at $9.13 at days end. Ballmer did tell shareholders that Microsoft may still be open to a search deal with Yahoo but those slightly encouraging words did not soften the blow of his comments dismissing a possible acquisition. Is this really the death knell for a Microsoft-Yahoo merger? Maybe, maybe not. Some analysts have interpreted Ballmer’s comments as a move to drive Yahoo prices down so Microsoft can scoop it up while its stock is obscenely low. Other analysts claim Microsoft is playing a waiting game; waiting to see if Yahoo has enough mettle to begin to pull itself out of this mess and waiting to gauge the regulatory environment of the upcoming Obama administration before they consider another acquisition offer. Either way, a merger is not happening anytime in the foreseeable future. It is now up to Yahoo to find a whizbang CEO that will begin to lift it out of its financial decline.

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