Ballmer 'not interested' in fresh Yahoo bid

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has ruled out another offer for Yahoo, as the web pioneer seeks to return to the negotiating table

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer on Friday said that Microsoft was "not interested" in making a new offer for internet company Yahoo, despite Yahoo's share price currently sitting at less than half what Microsoft initially offered.

Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Sydney, Ballmer said: "Look, we made an offer; we made another offer. It was clear that Yahoo didn't want to sell the business to us, and we moved on."

Ballmer said other deals with Yahoo had also been unsuccessful. "We tried at one point to do a partnership around search, not advertising. That didn't work either, so we moved on and they moved on."

"We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition," he said. "I don't know why they would be either, frankly."

When discussing the failed takeover, which, if successful, would have been one of the biggest takeovers in IT history, Ballmer said: "They turned us down at $33 a share; move on."

The comments came as Yahoo signalled over the past couple of days that it was willing to return to the negotiating table with Microsoft, following Google's decision to abandon an advertising partnership with Yahoo due to a potential legal battle with the US government.

"I believe the best thing for Microsoft to do is to buy Yahoo," Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang reportedly said at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco this week, noting Yahoo remained "open to everything".

At the time of writing, Yahoo's share price was $13.85 (£8.82).

Ballmer's whirlwind visit to Sydney this week has spurred a number of small controversies, after the Microsoft executive dismissed Google's Android mobile-phone operating system as "financially unsound" and said that Australia needed to get on with the job of building fast broadband networks.

The full video of Ballmer's speech to developers in Sydney yesterday is online.


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