Microsoft Threatens Hostile Takeover of Yahoo

Corporation promises proxy battle, threatens lower buyout price
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2008 3:09 PM CDT
This combination of two file photos shows Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, left, and Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Yahoo has 3 weeks to accept Microsoft’s takeover before things get hostile, Microsoft warned in a letter to Yahoo execs today. “The substantial premium reflected in our initial proposal anticipated a friendly transaction,” wrote Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who promised a proxy director battle and implied a lower sale price. “If we are forced to take an offer directly to your shareholders," Microsoft's $40 billion offer would tumble.

Microsoft said it was impatient with the “anything but speedy” nature of the transaction. “The Internet has continued to march on,” Ballmer wrote, “while the public equity markets have weakened considerably.” Microsoft hasn’t budged from its initial bid, then a 62% premium on Yahoo’s market value, and now bets that shareholders will force a deal, the Wall Street Journal reports.