Ballmer keeps to script on Yahoo

At the opening of an R&D site in Israel, Microsoft's CEO reiterates the stance that his company isn't offering a new bid for Yahoo, but rather seeking another transaction with the Net pioneer.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is sticking to the company line of give-me-a-piece-of-Yahoo-but-not-the-whole-enchilada.

That was the word he conveyed while in Israel to mark the opening of a new R&D facility, according to a Reuters report.

Ballmer's comments on Wednesday basically reiterated the stance the company took Sunday, when it announced it had re-entered talks with Yahoo .

"We are not bidding to buy Yahoo," Ballmer said in Israel, according to Reuters. "Yet, we are trying to have discussions about deals with Yahoo that might create value, but not a whole acquisition of the company."

And on the Facebook front, there's apparently nothing to see, folks.

"There's nothing particularly new on that front," Ballmer said, according to Reuters. "We have a great relationship with Facebook, and we look to continue to invest in that partnership."

Ballmer's comments come at a time when rumors are moving fast and furious that Redmond is looking to acquire the popular social-networking site, especially after feeling rebuffed by Yahoo.

Such comments are doing little to give Yahoo shares a lift. Since the announcement Sunday, Yahoo shares have edged down from their initial optimism Monday morning, when the stock opened at $27.90 per share. In premarket trading Wednesday, Yahoo shares were at $27.24.

Microsoft is reportedly interested in acquiring only Yahoo's search business and taking a minority stake in the company . Such a move would likely leave Yahoo investors with a smaller payout than the sweetened $33 a share Microsoft was willing to fork over, prior to withdrawing its bid on May 3 .


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