Yang Sheds Crocodile Tears, Does Ballmer Care?


courtship2.jpgADOTAS – Jerry Yang feels bad about the whole Microsoft thing … really! But is Microsoft hearing it? In a spate of interviews following a severe industry-wide tongue-lashing and dramatically plummeting stocks yesterday, Yahoo Inc.’s chief played the victim card and signaled that he was still open to a deal with Microsoft.

Yang told Reuters that he had “mixed feelings” about the break-up following a vicious and extremely public three month tussle with Microsoft’s chief Steve Ballmer at the conclusion of which Ballmer hiked his offer from about $31 a share to $33 a share over the weekend – for a total deal of $47.5 billion, up from about $44.6 billion.

But that wasn’t good enough for Yang – he wanted roughly $37 a share (also what his investors seemed to be pushing for, though most were livid when the deal fell through and slashed the company’s value).

“We were negotiating a way to find common ground and then on Saturday they chose to walk away,” Yang sobbed to Reuters. “They started it and they walked away.”

Backpedaling at lightning speed, he told Reuters that “If they have anything new to say, we would be open. … I am more than willing to listen.”

So the ball’s in Ballmer’s court. And it looks like Yahoo investors are a tad more optimistic in the wake of Yang’s veiled apology and naked plea. Stocks were trading at about $24.86, up 2.01% as of 10:46 a.m. Microsoft was trading at about $29.43, up 1.2%.


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