Microsoft sets a three-week ultimatum for a Yahoo decision

In a letter to Yahoo's board of directors Saturday, Microsoft gave Yahoo three weeks to reach an agreement or face a hostile takeover.

Following earlier news that Microsoft was recalculating its $44.6 billion bid for Yahoo, it has become clear what the company has decided to do. Microsoft has thrown down the gauntlet, as evidenced by a letter Saturday from CEO Steve Ballmer to Yahoo's board of directors. Here's the quote that sums up the entire letter:

MicroHoo

"If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders, including the initiation of a proxy contest to elect an alternative slate of directors for the Yahoo! board."

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This certainly is sending a strong message to Yahoo that almost nothing can be done to derail Microsoft's acquisition of the company. Rubbing salt into the wound, Microsoft adds, "It is unfortunate that by choosing not to enter into substantive negotiations with us, you have failed to give due consideration to a transaction that has tremendous benefits for Yahoo!'s shareholders and employees," in an attempt to stir up a response from Yahoo's board.

Since everything has been laid out and is now on the table, we are in for a very interesting three weeks. A hostile takeover of Yahoo would be really ugly and you can bet that Microsoft does not want to take that route, but it appears that they will if they have to.

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