Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

MicroHoo: Talk, Talk Talk (Which BoomTown Told You on Tuesday)


As BoomTown reported on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo (YHOO) have been chatting away informally, after a week of faux-wrestling.

It’s been like WrestleMania, except without the excitement and anticipation. Also, no cool names or outfits.

As I posted on Tuesday:

While it is true, as we and everyone else have posted, that Yahoo and Microsoft still have not entered into or even scheduled any formal talks, even after the software giant’s threat to launch a hostile bid came and went over the weekend without action, it is also not true that there are no talks going on.

According to sources close to both companies, there are informal discussions now taking place between Yahoo and Microsoft–via bankers, board members, shareholders and others close to both companies–to try to prevent a hostile takeover scenario or the sudden withdrawal of Microsoft’s offer.

Both options are unattractive for a number of reasons to pretty much everyone and, in BoomTown’s opinion, an excellent example of how juvenile this takeover battle has become (or “amateur hour,” as one source close to both companies described it to me).

A hostile bid by Microsoft, for example, is profoundly distracting to both parties and could result in an exodus of Yahoo staff, along with being risky in terms of certain success for Microsoft.”

And from the Journal this afternoon:

The two sides and their advisers have had informal discussions over the past week, but have been stymied by a divide on the price Microsoft should pay to acquire Yahoo, say the people. Microsoft has been weighing whether to drop its bid or go hostile, and has promised to announce its decision this week. As of Thursday night, Microsoft was leaning toward going hostile, but the situation remained fluid, according to people familiar with the matter.

Now, people close to the two sides are attempting to avert that prospect with discussions they hope could lead to a negotiated outcome, say the people. Microsoft has wanted to avoid a hostile takeover battle, which could drag out and result in distraction and the loss of key Yahoo employees.”