Just how hostile Microsoft’s takeover bid for Yahoo becomes is up to one man: Christopher Liddell, the mostly anonymous former banker masterminding the deal, the New York Times reports. Microsoft could simply raise its offer, or it could try some old-fashioned Wall Street strong-arming. “You have to be disciplined and ruthless,” Liddell says. “You have to be willing to walk away.”
Analysts think Microsoft will up its bid, but it could also start leaning on Yahoo through its shareholders, or, for maximum nastiness, try installing proxies on Yahoo’s board. Microsoft probably doesn’t want to get that hostile, sources tell the Wall Street Journal, lest key Yahoo employees leave, but “they are not going to give away the farm,” one analyst said.