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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.