Ballmer rules out new bid for Yahoo

Microsoft's CEO tells a lunch crowd in Australia that Microsoft is "not interested" in making a new offer for Internet company Yahoo.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Friday that Microsoft is "not interested" in making a new offer for Internet company Yahoo, despite Yahoo's share price currently sitting at less than half what Microsoft initially offered.

Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Sydney on Friday, Ballmer said: "Look, we made an offer, we made another offer. It was clear that Yahoo didn't want to sell the business to us, and we moved on."

Ballmer said other deals with Yahoo had also been unsuccessful. "We tried at one point to do a partnership around search, not advertising. That didn't work either, so we moved on, and they moved on."

"We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition," he said. "I don't know why they would be either, frankly."

When discussing the failed takeover, which if successful would have been one of the biggest takeovers in IT history, Ballmer said "they turned us down at $33 a share, move on."

The news came as Yahoo has signaled over the past couple of days that it was willing to return to the negotiating table with Microsoft, following Google's decision to abandon an advertising partnership with Yahoo due to a potential legal battle with the U.S. government.

"I believe the best thing for Microsoft to do is to buy Yahoo," Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang said at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco this week, noting Yahoo remained "open to everything."

At the time of writing, Yahoo's share price was $13.85.

Ballmer's whirlwind visit to Sydney this week has spurred a number of small controversies after the Microsoft executive dismissed Google's Android mobile phone operating system as "financially unsound" and said that Australia needed to get on with the job of building fast broadband networks.

The full video of Ballmer's speech to developers in Sydney on Thursday is also online.

Alex Serpo of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

 

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