Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Microsoft-Yahoo: Not-So-Happy Talk

One of BoomTown’s favorite songs in the whole wide world is “Happy Talk” from the classic musical “South Pacific,” with the great lyrics: “You got to have a dream/If you don’t have a dream/How you gonna have a dream come true?”

For Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, he could use some dreaming just about now, rather than the current night sweats he is likely getting from dealing with Yahoo, which has again rejected the software giant’s unsolicited bid to take over the troubled Internet icon.

One source close to the companies told me yesterday that Yahoo (YHOO) has actually been speaking with Microsoft (MSFT) behind the scenes, despite a spate of are-they-or-aren’t-they reports of talks and non-talks.

But, apparently, the most recent whispered words this week are terse and the same: Thanks, but no thanks.

The forecast: a 75% chance of partly-cloudy ugliness and scattered lawsuits.


Kicking Microsoft to the curb once more, who is Yahoo’s newest prospect in what has turned into a really dull version of “The Bachelor”? After unsuccessful canoodling with News Corp., Yahoo is now offering the rose to AOL this week! (My bet for next week: eBay.)

(Is it just me or does this bachelor look an awful lot like Yahoo exec Jeff Weiner?)

BoomTown has written two books about the never-ending traffic accident that has been AOL, since its merger with Time Warner. And, though combining their strong display ad businesses is not the worst of ideas, I cannot imagine a less copacetic pairing that these two companies, which have actually discussed joining together many times over the years.

So what could bring Yahoo back to talks with Microsoft, which has reportedly hired the mergers-and-acquisitions team of the financial advisory firm Deloitte to work out the fine points and paperwork of a possible deal?

“If they made it all cash or bumped up the price just a little bit, I don’t know how the Yahoo board could refuse,” said one source close to the companies. “Right now, they are trying to respect the emotions of [Yahoo CEO and Co-Founder] Jerry Yang, who still does not want to sell, but that just has to have its limits.”

Such sad words. Therefore, please enjoy this “Happy Talk” video below: