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Yahoo nears Google search deal; Icahn's plan goes kaput as Microsoft talks end

Yahoo is reportedly near a search deal with Google and plans an unrelated reorganization. Meanwhile, Microsoft says it's no longer interested in Yahoo.
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Written by Larry Dignan, Contributing Editor on

Yahoo is reportedly near a search deal with Google and plans an unrelated reorganization. Meanwhile, Microsoft says it's no longer interested in Yahoo. Add it up and billionaire investor Carl Icahn's grand plan to cash in on Yahoo just went kaput.

First, the news. News.com's Stephen Shankland reports that Yahoo is near a search deal with Google (Techmeme). Update: Yahoo and Microsoft confirmed that talks have ended:

In a statement Yahoo said:

"Discussions with Microsoft regarding a potential transaction -- whether for an acquisition of all of Yahoo! or a partial acquisition -- have concluded."

Yahoo added that there were numerous meetings with Microsoft and the software giant indicated that it wasn't interested in the company "even at the price range it had previously suggested." Think $31 to $33 a share.

The company added:

With respect to an acquisition of Yahoo!'s search business alone that Microsoft had proposed, Yahoo!'s Board of Directors has determined, after careful evaluation, that such a transaction would not be consistent with the company's view of the converging search and display marketplaces, would leave the company without an independent search business that it views as critical to its strategic future and would not be in the best interests of Yahoo! stockholders.

Yahoo reiterated that it is focused on maximizing shareholder value--a point Wall Street isn't buying.

Microsoft countered:

“In the weeks since Microsoft withdrew its offer to acquire Yahoo!, the two companies have continued to discuss an alternative transaction that Microsoft believes would have delivered in excess of $33 per share to the Yahoo! shareholders. This partnership would ensure healthy competition in the marketplace, providing greater choice and innovation for advertisers, publishers and consumers.

“As stated on May 3rd and reiterated on May 18th Microsoft was not interested in rebidding for all of Yahoo!. Our alternative transaction remains available for discussion.”

As a sidebar Yahoo plans a reorganization after the departure of Jeff Weiner, the executive vice president who runs Yahoo's network division.

The Google search deal--and Yahoo's penchant for it--has accomplished the following for better or worse:

Good times eh?

Wall Street was shooting Yahoo and asking questions later as shares fell more than 10 percent to $23.50 or so. Here's what happens when your biggest suitor calls it quits--again.

Also see:

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