Our long national nightmare of unceasing Yahoo-Microsoft headlines is finally over. Shares of Yahoo (YHOO) slipped into the mud this afternoon after the company said it had concluded, “definitively,” whatever spectacularly unrewarding discussions it’s been having with Microsoft (MSFT) without reaching any sort of merger agreement. Redmond, it seems, is no longer willing to pay $33 per share to acquire Yahoo.
Meanwhile, Yahoo and Google (GOOG) moved to complete a search-ad deal.
Dueling statements from Yahoo and Microsoft on the conclusion of their negotiations below. (Carl Icahn’s outraged letter on the whole matter presumably forthcoming…)
Yahoo Announces Microsoft Talks Have Concluded
Yahoo, a leading global Internet company, today announced that discussions with Microsoft regarding a potential transaction–whether for an acquisition of all of Yahoo or a partial acquisition–have concluded. The conclusion of discussions follows numerous meetings and conversations with Microsoft regarding a number of transaction alternatives, including a meeting between Yahoo and Microsoft on June 8 in which Chairman Roy Bostock and other independent board members from Yahoo participated. At that meeting, Microsoft representatives stated unequivocally that Microsoft is not interested in pursuing an acquisition of all of Yahoo, even at the price range it had previously suggested.
With respect to an acquisition of Yahoo’s search business alone that Microsoft had proposed, Yahoo’s board of directors has determined, after careful evaluation, that such a transaction would not be consistent with the company’s view of the converging search and display marketplaces, would leave the company without an independent search business that it views as critical to its strategic future and would not be in the best interests of Yahoo stockholders.
Yahoo remains focused on maximizing value for stockholders by continuing to execute on its strategy of being the ‘starting point’ for the most consumers on the Internet and a ‘must buy’ for advertisers. The online-advertising industry is projected to grow from $40 billion in 2007 to approximately $75 billion in 2010, and the company believes it has the right assets, strategic plan, board of directors and management team to capitalize on this growth opportunity.”
Microsoft Issues Statement Regarding Yahoo
In the weeks since Microsoft withdrew its offer to acquire Yahoo, the two companies have continued to discuss an alternative transaction that Microsoft believes would have delivered in excess of $33 per share to the Yahoo shareholders. This partnership would ensure healthy competition in the marketplace, providing greater choice and innovation for advertisers, publishers and consumers.
As stated on May 3 and reiterated on May 18, Microsoft was not interested in rebidding for all of Yahoo. Our alternative transaction remains available for discussion.”