Microsoft Edges Toward Hostile Bid

Ballmer, still on fence last night, expected to move on Yahoo today
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2008 4:52 AM CDT
A Times Square news ticker flashes a headline about Microsoft above a billboard for Yahoo! in New York in this Friday, May 4, 2007 file photo.    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
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(Newser) – Microsoft appears to be edging closer to a hostile bid for Yahoo, the Wall Street Journal reports; an announcement of the company's next move is expected today. Price will be a key factor: CEO Steve Ballmer told employees yesterday he won't pay a "dime above" what he thinks Yahoo is worth. Yahoo shareholders are looking for $35 to $37 a share; Ballmer's original offer was worth $29.48 a share at the close yesterday.

Ballmer also appeared to leave the door open for Microsoft to walk away from the bid, saying that other options exist, though conceding that buying Yahoo would be the best way for the company to get "up to scale" in its online business. A hostile bid for Yahoo would likely take months to pull off, and would run the risk of driving much of Yahoo's best talent from the company.