Feeds

Yahoo! Microsoft! merger! back! on! after! NDA! signed!

Yang’s final humiliation as Redmond offers peanuts

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

A merger between Microsoft and Yahoo! could be back on the cards, after Redmond reportedly signed a non-disclosure agreement as a prelude to serious talks about their future together.

A source close to the deal told the New York Times that Microsoft had signed the pledge, including provisions not to discuss terms with third parties, as part of negotiations to see if it could buy some, or all, of the fading internet legend. Redmond has been holding talks with potential partners before signing the NDA, but now seems ready to make its move.

Yahoo! has been openly touting itself on the market ever since the rather inept firing of Carol Bartz, and the naming of several suitors, including the Alibaba Group, private investment funds like Silver Lake, KKR and TPG Capital, or even Google.

Microsoft’s name has also been mentioned, but there’s history. Three years ago the company offered Yahoo $33 a share for the business, valuing the company at $47.5bn, an offer co-founder Jerry Yang turned down. Yahoo!’s current share price is less than half that and investors are calling for his scalp.

According to the NYT sources, Microsoft is now prepared to kick in a billion dollars or so to a consortium of private investment vehicles led by Silver Lake and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board.

In return, Microsoft would get to keep its deal with Yahoo! to use Bing. Traffic from Yahoo! is key to Bing being viable. Based on a recent survey of the US search market each also-ran site controls about 15 per cent apiece, compared to 65.6 per cent by Google. The possibility of a Skype hookup is also mentioned.

“Microsoft does not comment on rumors and speculation,” Microsoft told The Register. Yahoo! also told us "We don't comment on rumor or speculation." Make of that what you will.

The stock market reacted to the news by pushing up Yahoo!'s share price slightly higher. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
UK's emergency data slurp: IT giants panicked over 'legal uncertainty'
PM says rushed-through DRIP law will 'plug holes' in existing legislation
The final score: Gramophones 1 – Glassholes 0
My life according to a Google Arse
Doctor Who season eight scripts leak online
BBC asks fans to EXTERMINATE copies before they materialise
LG unfurls flexible SEE-THROUGH 18-inch display
Roll up, roll up for 60-inch telly scrolls by 2017
Report: UK.gov wants to legislate on comms data BEFORE next election
Ministerial alarm sets in over EU court's data retention ruling
IBM's $3bn bet on next-gen computers: Carbon nanotubes, neuro chips
Big Blue exec tells El Reg what to keep an eye on
Google Ventures opens new fund in London
El Reg has a new neighbour. So. Who's for a game of knock, knock, Ginger?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem
Download this brochure to find five ways HP BladeSystem can optimize your business with the power of one.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.