Microsoft and Yahoo can both be faulted for the collapse of Steve Ballmer’s hostile (and, at times, bizarre) takeover attempt. But the software giant, which has taken an image hit, is apparently not crying over spilled milk and is moving on quickly, although the corporate melodrama between the companies may not yet be over.
There were rumors last month that Yahoo was exploring a deal with TW and AOL to fend off Mircrosoft, but the Times says Microsoft-AOL talks have continued since Steve Ballmer pulled the plug on his offer for Yahoo late last week.
But while Yahoo thought Microsoft’s offer was low-balling its worth, AOL could be more receptive. Desperate times ...
As the WSJ noted yesterday, a deal with Microsoft could be a welcome “exit strategy” for TW chief Jeff Bewkes as he works to assuage shareholders who see AOL as DOA for the company.
For Microsoft, it’s a huge web presence (AOL’s the largest U.S. ad network) but also one that is partially aligned with archenemy Google, which has a five percent stake in AOL and could easily afford to take the whole operation off TW’s hands. Google is also said to be a possible white knight for Yahoo. But if Yahoo blew off Microsoft's more-than-fair bid, what can one think of its leadership if Yahoo climbs into bed with its largest competitor?