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Yang spent $79m snuffing Microhoo!

A drop in the $47.5bn bucket

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Jerry Yang and his Yahoo! cohorts didn't just reject a $47bn takeover bid from Microsoft. They spent $79 million in the process.

In a recent SEC filing, Yahoo! says that last year it shelled out $79 million to "outside advisors" as it battled multiple proposals from Steve Ballmer and company, stood up to a pro-Redmond proxy fight from Wall Street kingpin Carl Icahn, and fought for a Microsoft-shunning search ad pact with Google.

In February, Steve Ballmer bid $31 a share for Yahoo!, and when Yang turned him down, he went to $33 a share. That's a $47.5bn offer. But Yang turned that down too. Then he turned down a separate bid just for Yahoo!'s search biz.

So, Icahn launched a proxy battle in an effort to force a sale to Microsoft. He eventually backed down, but only after Yahoo! agreed to give him three board seats, including one for himself. Meanwhile, Yang and his Yahooligans inked a search ad pact with Google, the world's number one ad broker, as part of its continued efforts to fend off Icahn and Ballmer.

Ultimately, Google backed out of the deal, after the US department of justice threatened to sue the company. Google controls over 60 per cent of the search market in the US, while Yahoo! controls roughly 20 per cent. Microsoft claims the number three spot, with around 10 per cent.

When the Microhoo dust settled, Yahoo!'s share price was hovering just above $12 a share. And Yang soon quit as CEO.

In January, he was repaced by former Autodesk chief Carol Bartz. But it would appear that like Yang, Bartz would prefer to keep Yahoo! in one piece. ®

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