Microsoft Mulls Ways to Up Ante

Software giant deciding between very dirty tricks and somewhat dirty tricks
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2008 8:37 AM CST
Microsoft Mulls Ways to Up Ante
Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang gives a keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, in this Jan. 7, 2008 file photo. Yang told employees Wednesday Feb. 6, 2008, that the struggling Internet pioneer is still examining ways to avoid a takeover by rival Microsoft Corp. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – 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. (Read more mergers and acquisitions stories.)

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