In a new complaint unsealed under court order on June 2 as part of a shareholder lawsuit against Yahoo for failing to take a multi-billion-dollar acquisition offer by Microsoft, a number of new pieces of information have come to light. Among them:
* Yahoo's employee-compensation plan, a thinly-veiled poison pill designed to help derail Microsoft's acquisition bid for the company, made it less attractive for Yahoo employees to stay with Yahoo than to quit -- a fact that raised red flags among third-party consulting companies, to other Yahoo managers.
* Yahoo management opposed the idea of a partnership with Google as recently as the day before Microsoft made its bid for Yahoo. (Yahoo later used the threat of an ad/search partnership with Google to attempt to get Microsoft to raise its bid for the company.)
* Microsoft bid $40
billion a share for Yahoo in January 2007, yet another offer that Yahoo rebuffed.
Is it really surprising that Microsoft execs say they are no longer interested in buying all of Yahoo? Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang seemed almost regretful that the Microsoft buyout proposal was seemingly off the table during his remarks at the D6 conference last week. But I'm not sure I believe anything coming out of Yahoo, at this point, about what happened over the past year-plus in its negotiations with Microsoft.