The Full Text of Microsoft's Statement About Its Most Recent Yahoo Search Talks
Here is the entire statement from Microsoft (MSFT), released this afternoon, about its version of the new proposal it made with the help of activist investor Carl Icahn, who is waging a proxy fight against Yahoo (YHOO):
Microsoft Sets the Record Straight
REDMOND, Wash.–July 14, 2008–On the evening of July 12, Yahoo! Inc. released a statement relating to recent discussions involving Yahoo!, Microsoft Corporation, and Carl Icahn. Microsoft believes the statement contains inaccuracies that need to be corrected. Among other things, the enhanced proposal for an alternate search transaction that we submitted late Friday was submitted at the request of Yahoo! Chairman Roy Bostock as a result of apparent attempts by Mr. Icahn to have Microsoft and Yahoo! engage on a search transaction on terms Mr. Icahn believed Microsoft would be willing to accept and which Microsoft understands Mr. Icahn had discussed with Yahoo!.
Specifically, on Thursday afternoon, July 10, Mr. Bostock called [Microsoft CEO] Steve Ballmer’s office to arrange a call. On that subsequent call, Mr. Bostock told Mr. Ballmer that “with substantial guarantees on the table and an increase in the TAC (traffic acquisition cost) rate, there are the pillars of a search-only deal to be done.” Mr. Bostock encouraged Mr. Ballmer to submit a new proposal to Yahoo! for a search-only deal reflecting these terms.
After considering Yahoo’s request and taking into account Yahoo’s previous feedback about our prior search proposal, Microsoft determined late Friday to propose an enhanced search transaction. This proposal included significant revenue guarantees, higher TAC rates, an equity investment and an option for Yahoo! to extend the agreement over a 10-year period.
Microsoft’s proposal did not include changes to Yahoo’s governance.
At the time Microsoft submitted its enhanced proposal, Microsoft asked that Yahoo! confirm whether it would agree that the enhancements were sufficient to form the basis for the parties to engage in negotiations over the weekend on a letter of intent and more detailed term sheets. This discussion has been mischaracterized as a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum, rather than a timetable in order to move forward to intensive negotiations. Yahoo! informed Microsoft on Saturday that it had rejected the proposal.