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Microsoft's bid for Yahoo! - the story so far

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!!!!! The Microsoft-Yahoo story has been long and involved - so long in fact that for your edification we've organised it all in one place. From the initial offering all the way to the very latest, we have month-by-month coverage right here, starting with the freshest:

August

Yahoo! shareholders! back! Jerry! Yang!
01/08/08 Despite continued resentment over the aborted merger with Microsoft, Yahoo! shareholders have reelected the company's entire board of directors.


July

Yahoo! hands Icahn board seat, ends battle
21/07/08 Yahoo! and Carl Icahn have agreed to settle their differences and call off their proxy battle for control of the company.

Icahn Yahoo! writes! a! letter!
17/07/08 Yahoo! has written another letter to shareholders making clear exactly how and when it would sell to Microsoft and why shareholders should definitely not vote for Carl Icahn and his proposed slate of board directors. It also suggests Yahoo! could sell its Asian business and return money to shareholders.

Microsoft eyes AOL takeover
17/07/08 Time Warner is still trying to flog AOL to either Yahoo! or Microsoft in the event that their on-off merger talks ending completely.

Microsoft questions Google's plan to save the world through ads
15/07/08 Yes, Microsoft turned up at today's dueling Congressional hearings on the Google ad pact with Yahoo!.

Icahn writes another bloody letter
14/07/08 Yahoo! shareholders will be picking yet another letter from Carl Icahn off their doormats today, as his attempted takeover bid gets ever more bad-tempered.

Yahoo! rejects! Microsoft! again!
14/07/08 Yahoo! rejected another takeover offer from Microsoft and Carl Icahn on Saturday after it was given less than 24 hours to respond to the joint offer.

Microsoft: Yes! We're! talking! to! Icahn!
07/07/08 Microsoft confirmed today that it has been talking to Carl Icahn about possibly taking over Yahoo! should he succeed in ousting the board of directors.

Yahoo! talks! to! Time! Warner?
07/07/08 Yahoo! spent the holiday weekend locked in talks with Time Warner. The two are looking for a way to split Yahoo! up in order to fend off Microsoft's takeover attempt.

DoJ to probe Google Yahoo! deal
02/07/08 The US Department of Justice is to open a formal investigation into Yahoo!'s partnership with Google, fearing it will reduce competition in the online advertising market.


June

Yahoo! deckchair! shuffle! filled! with! insight! and! clouds!
27/06/08 Trying to become less of an organizational disaster, Yahoo! has shuffled around some executives and even formed a cloud computing division. "Take that, activist shareholders, we've got everything under control."

Yahoo! counts! the! reasons! it's better! off! without! Microsoft!
26/06/08 Tired of taking it on the chin from bully activist investors, Yahoo! executives are counting the reasons why they're better off forging a advertising partnership Google rather than selling the company's search business to Microsoft.

Yahoo!'s Decker! defends! Goo-Hoo!
23/06/08 Yahoo! president Susan Decker has criticised the company’s naysayers, many of whom have protested against the fraught firm’s recent web search ad deal with Google.

Google faces probe over Yahoo! advertising deal
19/06/08 Google and Yahoo! will face a competition probe over their proposed advertising deal. The inquiry will look at whether the deal gives the already-dominant Google too much market power.

Yahoo! execs! stick! it! to! the! man!
18/06/08 Jerry Yang celebrates his first year as CEO of Yahoo! today, but with so many execs choosing to exit stage left, it’s not exactly an anniversary he’ll want to shout about.

Microsoft ga ga over Goo-Hoo! deal
16/06/08 Microsoft kicked off a campaign on Friday against the advertising collaboration deal struck between Google and Yahoo!, Reuters reports.

US Senate to probe Goo-Hoo!
13/06/08 The US Senate's Antitrust Subcommittee will investigate Yahoo!'s Ballmer-battling search tie-up with Google.

Yahoo! and Microsoft terminate talks, this time for good
12/06/08 Yahoo! has terminated all acquisition talks with Microsoft, today saying Microsoft was only interested in the internet provider's search business. Yahoo! shares fell 10 per cent today to $23.52, from yesterday's closing price of $26.52.

Yahoo! shareholders call for Icahn preemption
11/06/08 Carl Icahn wants to replace Yahoo!'s board of directors so he can vaporize its employee retention plan and sell the company to Microsoft. But some litigious Yahoo! shareholders think he's got it slightly wrong.

Country mice oppose Yahoogle
09/06/08 Even rural America takes issue with this Yahoogle idea.

Yahoo!'s latest letter warns of letters
09/06/08 Yahoo!'s chief executive, Jerry Yang, has written to his fellow yahoos telling them what to expect from the forthcoming proxy contest over the company's board of directors.

Icahn laughs at Yahoo!
06/06/08 Carl Icahn has tossed yet another letter at Yahoo!, reiterating his claims that it botched a possible merger with Microsoft and detailing his plans for the company should he succeed in overhauling its board of directors.

Yahoo! hits back at Icahn
05/06/08 Yahoo! has accused Carl Icahn of grossly misstating the facts about Microsoft's bid for the company and its subsequent actions.

Yahoo! sets date for Icahn showdown
04/06/08 Yahoo! will hold its annual general meeting and shareholder vote on Carl Icahn's proposal to replace the board of directors on 1 August.

Yahoo! bitchslapped Ballmer's $40 a share offer
03/06/08 Yahoo! did its best to stymie a takeover by Microsoft, even when it offered $40 a share, because chief executive Jerry Yang let his heart rule his head.


May

Yahoo! vs Icahn, Yahoo! blinks first
23/05/08 Yahoo! has delayed its general meeting scheduled for 3 July and is facing another attack on its board. No new date has been set, but the meeting is expected to be held towards the end of July.

Microsoft! offers! Yahoo! less!
19/05/08 Microsoft said yesterday that a deal with Yahoo!, but not a full-blown acquisition, is still very much on the table.

Yahoo! strikes back at Icahn
16/05/08 Roy Bostock, chairman of Yahoo!, has wasted no time in responding to Carl Icahn's attempt to seize control of the company's board.

Yahoo! faces battle for the board
15/05/08 Yahoo! might not have escaped the clutches of Microsoft after all. Activist investor Carl Icahn has confirmed he will fight to take over Yahoo!'s board of directors in order to force through a takeover by Microsoft.

Icahn builds Yahoo! stake
14/05/08 Carl Icahn has quietly built up a four per cent stake in Yahoo! since Microsoft withdrew its offer for the company.

Yahoo? We don't need no stinkin' Yahoo!
07/05/08 Bill Gates says Microsoft is quite capable of sorting out its internet strategy all on its own if Yahoo! refuses to play ball.

Yahoo! shareholders thump Yang in the fiduciaries
06/05/08 In late February, after Yahoo! famously rejected Microsoft's initial $44.6bn bid for the company, two share-holding Detroit pension funds filed a class action lawsuit against Jerry Yang and the Yahoo! board, claiming a "breach of fiduciary duties".

Microsoft walks away from Yahoo!
04/05/08 Microsoft today abandoned its attempt to buy Yahoo!, after a short weekend of negotiations in which it raised its $44.6bn offer by $5bn.

Microsoft and Yahoo! renew their marriage talks
02/05/08 Microsoft and Yahoo! have pulled their chairs back up to the proverbial negotiating table.

Ballmer's board broaches beefier bid
01/05/08 Microsoft's board of directors has at least toyed with the idea of increasing its bid for Yahoo!.


April

Microhoo! what's! going! on?
30/04/08 Microsoft is laying aside $1.5bn to keep Yahoo! staff happy and at their desks should the takeover go through.

Ubuntu man says Microsoft's about to 'swallow a hand-grenade'
27/04/08 Well, here I am just a few miles from Yahoo! headquarters and Microsoft's Silicon Valley residence. It's Sunday, and I've yet to hear screams from either camp. So, it seems that Microsoft's call to action deadline around the Yahoo! buy is passing with a lack of fanfare. Yahoo! may surprise us yet by leaking something to the New York Times or perhaps Steve Ballmer will call up his buds at the Wall Street Journal, but in lieu of such actual movements, I'm left wanting.

Microsoft profits fall in Q1
25/04/08 Xbox fans helped propelled Microsoft's business during its latest quarter as the repercussions of last year's Windows Vista launch continued to be felt.

Microsoft could go it alone without Yahoo!
24/04/08 Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer yesterday dropped the biggest hint yet that Redmond could turn its back on rival Yahoo! if its hostile bid to buy the internet search engine is rejected.

Yahoo! pulls Alibaba out of hat, posts big Q1 profit jump
22/04/08 Jerry Yang today hailed Yahoo!'s "extraordinary" Q1 results, citing the besieged firm's ability to execute, against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and Microsoft's unwelcome bid to buy the company.

Google and Yahoo! 'move closer' to ad wedlock
17/04/08 Pleased with its test of Google's ad engine, Yahoo! is considering a more extensive partnership with its search rival/large weapon against Microsoft.

There's no way Ballmer survives Yahoo! disaster scenario
12/04/08 Microsoft is buying Yahoo! to . . . oh, that's right no one from Redmond has really explained that one yet. Most of the pundits think Redmond has an ad play in mind. Well, the Open Season crew sees it differently.

Microhoo! deal roadmap goes round in circles
10/04/08 Microsoft's hostile takeover bid for Yahoo! is starting to resemble a corporate speed-dating night, as rival suitors jump back in the running.

Yahoo! to post Google ads on Yahoo!
09/04/08 The next time you search Yahoo!, you may see a Google ad. And Steve Ballmer isn't too happy about it.

Yahoo! to Microsoft: No surrender!
07/04/08 Yahoo! has replied promptly to an open letter sent to them by Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer on Saturday.

Microsoft to Yahoo!: surrender or else
06/04/08 Microsoft has told reluctant takeover target Yahoo! that it has three weeks to negotiate a deal - or the bid will go hostile. If it ends up in a proxy battle, Microsoft will almost certainly return with a lower offer than the $44bn bid originally tabled on January 31.


March

Microsoft architecture chief 'clarifies' online formula
05/03/08 Microsoft's chief software architect Ray Ozzie tried to clarify Microsoft's software plus services internet strategy. And guess what, it involves advertising and Yahoo!.

Yahoo! seeks time out on Microsoft bid
05/03/08 Yahoo! is dropping an election date to buy more time against a hostile Microsoft takeover.


February

Microsoft emails its staff to reassure Yahoos
25/02/08 Microsoft exec Kevin Johnson has emailed all Microsoft staff to reassure them about the Yahoo! acquistion.

Microsoft preps Yahoo! proxy attack
19/02/08 Microsoft will soon spark a Yahoo! proxy fight rather than up its $44.6bn bid for the beleaguered Web portal. An increased bid would cost the company billions more, but sources tell DealBook that Microsoft could launch a proxy battle simply by spending an extra $20m to $30m on a proxy solicitor and some letters to Yahoo! shareholders.

Gates! says! Yahoo! offer! fair!
19/02/08 "We sent them a letter and said we think that's a fair offer. There's nothing that's gone on other than us stating that we think it's a fair offer... They should take a hard look at it."

Yahoo! and Microsoft's shared shareholders may swing deal
18/02/08 Ninety per cent of Yahoo!'s institutional investors are also Microsoft shareholders, and most have more Microsoft shares than Yahoo! shares. Although they might feel that Microsoft will increase the price offered for Yahoo!, such investors' main interest is in the overall deal.

Murdoch could save Yahoo! from Microsoft!
14/02/08 A full takeover is unlikely because News Corp. is still in the process of digesting, and paying for, recent purchases like Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal. It is not clear how real the deal is and how much it is being used to encourage Microsoft into improving its offer.

Yahoo! formally! rejects! Microsoft! offer!
11/02/08 Yahoo! "believes that Microsoft's proposal substantially undervalues Yahoo! including our global brand, large worldwide audience, significant recent investments in advertising platforms and future growth prospects, free cash flow and earnings potential, as well as our substantial unconsolidated investments." And so on. It also wants to restart merger talks with AOL, according to The Times.

Microsoft rejects Yahoo! rejection
11/02/08 "It is unfortunate that Yahoo! has not embraced our full and fair proposal to combine our companies," the statement begins. "Based on conversations with stakeholders of both companies, we are confident that moving forward promptly to consummate a transaction is in the best interests of all parties."

Yahoo! to! reject! Microsoft! offer!
10/02/08 The board at Yahoo! plans to reject Microsoft's unsolicited $44.6bn takeover offer, the Wall Street Journal reports. Quoting "a person familiar with the situation," the publication states that after a series of meetings over this weekend, the board thinks the software giant's bid "massively undervalues" Yahoo!

Yahoo! shares! rise! above! offer! price!
08/02/08 Yahoo! shares are worth more than Microsoft offered to pay for them last week. Even though when Microsoft made its offer to buy Yahoo! it included a 62 per cent premium Yahoo! shareholders are now better off selling their shares on the open market.

Microsoft! snuggles! with! Yahoo! on! OpenID!
07/02/08 Call it coincidence or call it necessity, but Microsoft has jumped onboard a Yahoo!-backed initiative to give internet users a single digital identity.

Potential suitors throw Yahoo! to the wolf
06/02/08 Yahoo! can marry Microsoft or remain an old maid with a less than rosy financial outlook. Those are the options. And we're being kind including one of them.

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! play pots-and-kettles 2.0
04/02/08 Microsoft and Google engaged in skirmishing by statement this weekend as they began what is likely to be a rancorous, drawn-out battle over the future of Yahoo!.

Microhoo's future rests with open source and courage
03/02/08 Should Microsoft's bid for Yahoo! go through, the combined company would face one very major infrastructure question - how far is it willing to go in the war against Google?

FTC and DoJ will fight for the right to rule on Microhoo!
02/02/08 Would Microhoo! hamper market competition? If Jerry Yang finally agrees to be swallowed by Steve Ballmer, that's a question for regulators in the US as well as the EU. But first, another question needs answering: Which US regulator will review the acquisition: the Department of Justice (DoJ) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)?

Microsoft! needs! Yahoo! developers! developers! developers!
01/02/08 While much will be spoken in the coming weeks and months of synergies, structural integration and the combined market share potential of a Microsoft and Yahoo! marriage, it will be the practical and philosophical decisions that Microsoft takes in relation to maintaining and supporting the Yahoo! Developer Network that will really determine whether this deal becomes a success or whether it's just another merger that barely moves the needle or, worse, sees developers drift away from Yahoo!.

Euro lawyers see tortuous road ahead for Microsoft's Yahoo! bid
01/02/08 Microsoft is likely to face a torrid time from European regulators before it can even think of closing its proposed takeover of Yahoo!.

Ballmer! explains! hostile! Yahoo! bid!
01/02/08 Steve Ballmer all but confirmed that Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo! for scale, branding and audience rather than any technology or products the web media co-owns.

Microsoft! bids! $44.6bn! for! Yahoo!
01/02/08 Microsoft has made a $44.6bn takeover bid for Yahoo!. Microsoft is offering Yahoo! shareholders a mix of cash and stock under the unsolicited offer.

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