Yahoo, Microsoft in talks; Media pawns abound

Have you ever felt used? Betrayed? Used as a pawn in a silly negotiation game?
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Have you ever felt used? Betrayed? Used as a pawn in a silly negotiation game? If you're in the media your answer in the last few days is a decided yes.

The New York Times is reporting that Yahoo and Microsoft are actually talking merger now. The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has offered to raise its bid by several dollars in a last ditch attempt to seal a friendly offer. All of that negotiating through the media was bunk.

In all fairness, perhaps these leaks just indicate that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer just can't make up his mind. But there's a media case study in here somewhere. Something is just screwy about negotiating through the media. Microsoft is walking. Microsoft is going hostile. Yeah, that's it. Hostile my arse.

Also see: Steve Ballmer’s defining hour

Now Microsoft and Yahoo are talking. The Times reports:

After a months-long standoff, Microsoft and Yahoohave stepped up merger talks, a person involved in the discussions said.

Microsoft, which had threatened to abandon its bid, has increased its offer “by several dollars,” this person said. The merger talks represent an enormous breakthrough following weeks of behind-the-scenes discussions without any progress. Exact terms being discussed could not be learned.

The Journal says:

Though the talks have intensified, a deal was not imminent and the people familiar with the matter said an agreement was not likely on Friday.

Both the Journal and the Times note that these talks could fall apart--just like every leak/rumor/planted story has thus far.

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