And the world’s most expensive game of cat and mouse continues. Like shopping in a Moroccan souk, Microsoft has returned to Yahoo! after pretending to have tendered their final offer and walked away.
Two weeks later – i.e. now – Ballmer and his boys are said to be exploring a deal short of total acquisition of the second largest internet search company in the world but at the same time are still reserving the right to completely buy them out. So, in actuality the nature of the deal has changed very little and they’re all just using a face-saving disguise to get the ball rolling again.
Microsoft had backed out after Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang wanted more than the $47.5m initially offered and consequently shares in the search company dropped by 15%.
If a partial buy-out deal is brokered, Yahoo! may still have some control over their company. Their priority remains to chose the option that best benefits their shareholders but that answer is ambiguous enough to give very little clue as to what we’ll see at the end of it all.
Everyone knows that the deal will happen eventually. The two side want and need it too much if they are to ever compete with Google, and the longer the wrangling continues, it’s only Google that will benefit.