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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.

Late on Friday Microsoft and Icahn issued a combined offer - Microsoft would take Yahoo!'s search business leaving Icahn to run the rest of the business.

Roy Bostock, Yahoo! chairman, said: "Carl Icahn and Microsoft presented us with a 'take it or leave it' proposal under which we would be required to restructure the Company, hand over to Microsoft Yahoo!'s valuable search business and to Carl Icahn the rest of the Company, giving us less than 24 hours to respond. It is ludicrous to think that our Board could accept such a proposal."

Yahoo! said it is prepared to sell the whole company to Microsoft for $33 a share, but not to spilt the company up. The company said its existing search deal with Google offers better value for money, as would a full sale of Yahoo!. It also objected that the rump of Yahoo! left once its search business was sold to Microsoft would be run by Icahn and his directors, who have little knowledge of running an internet company.

Yahoo! also complained that immediate removal of all directors would leave the company rudderless for at least a year while the deal got regulatory approval.

Yahoo said it offered to discuss a sale of its search business to Microsoft or a complete sale, but both offers were refused.

The two sides will now fight it out at Yahoo!'s shareholders meeting on 1 August. Yahoo! last week issued shareholders with materials for proxy voting for those that cannot attend the meeting. ®

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