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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.

The email went to all Yahoo! staff and was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It first explains what a proxy contest is - when a shareholder proposes their own candidates to be elected to the board of directors instead of the slate proposed by the company's management.

The email warns: "it is typical for a variety of positive and negative statements to be made about a company’s board and management. we expect these kinds of statements about yahoo! to intensify in the weeks ahead." So far the battle has been waged almost entirely by letter and Yang said the company would respond to statements it regards as unfair or misleading by issuing press releases.

Icahn, who now owns some four per cent of Yahoo!, continues to demand Yahoo! sell itself to Microsoft and if that doesn't work do a search deal with Google. Icahn appears to see a deal with Google as a stepping-stone to an eventual Microsoft takeover. Apart from getting rid of Yang and the other directors he seems short on actual strategic plans for the company.

The latest epistle is here. ®

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