Yahoo open to Microsoft deal under right terms

May 27, 2009 By ELLIOT SPAGAT , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- Yahoo Inc.'s chief executive said Wednesday that she is open to joining forces with Microsoft Corp. so both companies can better compete in Internet search, but a deal would need a specific set of terms - including "boatloads of money."

An alliance in Internet search would have to enrich Yahoo, give Yahoo access to the "right data" and bring strong technology, said at The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference. In the past, Yahoo has insisted it needs data culled from search requests to sell the most effective ads and tailor other services to suit its users' interests.

Asked if she would consider selling all of Yahoo, she said, "Oh, they'd have to have BIG boatloads of money."

Yahoo already has walked away from what would seem to be a boatload. Microsoft offered as much as $47.5 billion for the company last year. Jerry Yang's, Yahoo's co-founder, was chief executive at the time and saw Yahoo lose two-thirds of its market value after rejecting Microsoft. He stepped down in November and was replaced in January by Bartz, who came from Inc. Yahoo's market value now stands at $21 billion, with its shares falling 34 cents to $14.94 Wednesday.

Microsoft Corp. , who appears at the conference Thursday and is widely expected to talk about his company's new search engine, has said he would still be interested in a search-related deal with Yahoo that could help them threaten Inc.'s leadership.

Bartz was asked whether Yahoo continues to talk with .

"Yeah, a little bit," she said.

Bartz said it would be unfair to shareholders to rule out selling the company and she needled the founders of privately held Twitter Inc. for saying Tuesday that they intended to keep the young, rapidly growing online communication service independent.

"Never's a long time," she said.

Bartz, 60, recounted how she deflected overtures from Yang in November to take his job when they met at board meeting of networking equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc., where they serve as directors. A month later, she agreed to visit Yang's home.

Bartz was taken aback when Yang pulled an organizational chart from a closet and started drawing arrows when asked how strategic decisions were made.

"It was like a Dilbert cartoon, it was very odd," Bartz said. "I was like, `Oh, my God. You need management.'"

Blake Jorgensen, Yahoo's chief financial officer, plans to leave the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company as soon as Bartz finds a replacement. But it doesn't sound like Bartz wants to replace Susan Decker, who had been president of before leaving the company after Bartz beat her out for the top job.

"I don't need a No. 2 because I don't want to be removed from the business," Bartz said. "That's what happens. You get confused about who's in charge."

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft, Yahoo! in search, ad talks

Apr 10, 2009

Microsoft and Yahoo! have held "early discussions" about possible Internet search and advertising partnerships, a leading Silicon Valley technology website reported on Friday.

Yahoo's Yang gets $1 in rocky final year as CEO

Apr 30, 2009

(AP) -- Yahoo Inc. limited co-founder Jerry Yang's 2008 compensation package to his customary $1 salary during his final year as chief executive, a tumultuous reign that unraveled after he rebuffed Microsoft Corp.'s $47.5 ...

Yahoo shares rise following Microsoft ad-deal report

Apr 13, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO _ Shares of Yahoo Inc. bucked the downward trend for technology stocks Monday and gained more than 7 percent, following reports late last week that the company is in serious discussions with Microsoft Corp. ...

Yahoo plans first major layoffs under new CEO

Apr 15, 2009

(AP) -- Yahoo Inc. is gearing up for its third round of mass layoffs in 14 months, signaling the long-slumping Internet company is still struggling to snap out of its financial malaise under a new leadership team.

Recommended for you

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

Dec 18, 2014

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

UN General Assembly OKs digital privacy resolution

Dec 18, 2014

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution demanding better digital privacy protections for people around the world, another response to Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. government spying.

Online privacy to remain thorny issue: survey

Dec 18, 2014

Online privacy will remain a thorny issue over the next decade, without a widely accepted system that balances user rights and personal data collection, a survey of experts showed Thursday.

Spain: Google News vanishes amid 'Google Tax' spat

Dec 16, 2014

Google on Tuesday followed through with a pledge to shut down Google News in Spain in reaction to a Spanish law requiring news publishers to receive payment for content even if they are willing to give it away.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.