updated 11:00 am EST, Fri February 8, 2008
MS Yahoo May Settle Today
Yahoo will make its ultimate decision as to whether or not it will accept a takeover by Microsoft today, sources have reportedly told TechCrunch. With potential suitors including Japanese telecoms firm SoftBank having so far declined to offer a deal of their own, Yahoo is now believed to be on the verge of a board meeting which will either accept the Microsoft deal with little negotiating room or else turn to Google for a deal that might bring the latter's advertising and even search functions to Yahoo's pages.
While potentially less successful, the Google deal is being regarded as a possibility due to resistance to Microsoft by Yahoo's executives, the tip suggests. The duplication created in Yahoo's staff, however, would likely necessitate far-ranging job cuts; the deal may also be prevented outright by US anti-trust regulators, who may see a Google and Yahoo alliance as an unfair merger that locks out smaller competitors in online search and ads, such as Microsoft.
While not officially confirmed, the expected meeting is believed to be a self-imposed reaction to Microsoft pressure. The latter had originally claimed that its offer was friendly but was later exposed as having threatened a hostile takeover, using the public announcement as leverage when privately-held negotiations broke down.
It remains unclear as to how soon Yahoo will formally accept or reject the Microsoft offer.