In its June 25 letter to stockholders, Yahoo Board Chairman Roy Bostock and CEO Jerry Yang had nothing to say about the supposed renewal this week of talks with Microsoft.
Given Yahoo's strategy to "set the record straight" about what really has happened and is happening with Microsoft via its press releases and other financial filings, wouldn't you expect Yahoo to address the rumors that erupted on June 24 regarding Microsoft's alleged new interest in buying at least the search side of Yahoo, if not the entire company (again)?
The latest Yahoo missive, timed to coincide with the start of its roadshow to lobby against Carl Icahn's attempt to replace Yahoo's board, begins:
"Dear Fellow Stockholders:
We are writing to update you on the latest developments here at Yahoo!, including our recently announced commercial agreement with Google and the outcome of our discussions with Microsoft regarding a potential transaction."
The letter rehashes Yahoo's decision to spurn Microsoft's $9 billion offer for its search business and its decision to, instead, outsource some of its online advertising to Google. Not a peep about any renewed talks with Microsoft since the pair announced on June 12 that the search-sale talks were off.
As journalists and bloggers know (or should know) all too well, everyone has his/her reason for leaking information. Sometimes a leak is designed to keep a company from killing a product or technology that's on the chopping block. Sometimes it is to help a partner or competitor gain leverage against another vendor. Sometimes it's to help someone who has tried to communicate with a vendor through other channels to finally get his/her point heard. And sometimes it is to raise (or torpedo) a stock price.
Microsoft has continued to hold to its line that it is not interested in buying all of Yahoo, but that they are still open to buying Yahoo's search unit (an idea that made a lot of sense for Microsoft and zero sense for Yahoo, but seemingly one that Yang & Co. entertained seriously). Sure, there's a chance Microsoft officials could be
lying sharing information selectively. But I don't see Microsoft buying Yahoo, which is hemorrhaging top talent, for any price higher than the $9 billion Microsoft offered to spend/invest to get Yahoo's search business only.
Do you think Microsoft ultimately will end up buying all or part of Yahoo? Or is Microsoft really going to just walk away?