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Report: Microsoft earmarks $1.5 billion to keep Yahoo employees

Microsoft expects to spend upward of $1.5 billion to retain Yahoo employees, should it be successful in its unsolicited takeover attempt of the Internet search pioneer, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft plans to set aside $1.5 billion for employee retention at Yahoo, should it succeed in its unsolicited buyout bid for the Internet search pioneer, according to court documents in a shareholder lawsuit cited by the .

The documents include transcripts of a March 24 conference call hearing between attorneys for Yahoo and two Detroit-based pension funds. During the call, a Yahoo attorney noted Microsoft had informed the company that it "earmarked $1.5 billion for employee retention at Yahoo," cites the Journal.

Yahoo's workforce stands at approximately 13,200, following layoffs of roughly 1,000 employees in early February. That translates into an average of $113,636 per employee.

The folks at Tellme Networks apparently did much better when they were acquired by Microsoft, averaging approximately $300,000 per worker, according to a . Sure, Tellme's workforce was much smaller than Yahoo's at 330 folks, but the $100 million that Microsoft reportedly paid went a lot further.

While Yahoo employees may, on average, get less per employee than Tellme folks, one silver lining is no further layoffs are anticipated at Yahoo in the near-term. The Journal, citing court transcripts, notes Yahoo's attorney said: "there are no more reductions in force planned for the future" at the Internet search pioneer.