Yahoo announced over the weekend that it had
The joint proposal called for Microsoft to buy the search business and Yahoo to swap out its board members for Icahn's dissident slate, who would then have control in running the remainder of Yahoo's businesses.
In rejecting the offer, Yahoo told Microsoft that it was willing to sell the entire company for at least $33 a share and that its board believed such a deal could be negotiated and executed before its annual shareholders meeting on August 1. Yahoo said it also informed the software giant that it remained willing to negotiate an "improved search-only transaction."
This sparked another round of letter writing.
Microsoft jumped into the brawl between Yahoo and Icahn on Monday, issuing a "
In other words, it was Icahn, the other partner in Microsoft's joint proposal, who was asking for all Yahoo board members and top management to resign immediately. But even Icahn, in his
Microsoft also contends that its sweetened offer has been incorrectly portrayed as a "take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum" rather than a "timetable" to push negotiations forward. Yahoo, in its investor presentation, notes that Microsoft gave the company only 24 hours to consider its proposal.
The letter complains that Icahn invested in Yahoo only two months ago, and is just looking for a deal to "
Despite those harsh words, Yahoo may finally be warming up to the idea of a takeover. The letter contained this interesting passage: "First, we will sell the entire company to Microsoft for $33 per share or more, if Microsoft will negotiate a transaction that delivers certainty of value and certainty of closing."
In the meantime, Icahn is turning his focus on the proxy battle in which he seeks control of the Yahoo board and will
Yahoo's nine current board members are up for re-election to a one-year term. Icahn's goal is to ensure that the next time Microsoft, or any other suitor, comes a-calling that the path to a buyout will face far fewer potholes.
On tech's court docket
The courts were busy this week with tech issues, the most prominent of which led to a ruling that eBay
The debate centers on whether the product manufacturer or the auction site should bear the cost of policing eBay listings for fakes. For its part, eBay says it spends $5 million a year in maintaining its fraud search engine, which has 13,000 rules that are designed to identify counterfeit listings based on words such as "replica" or "knock-off." Listings flagged by the search engine are manually reviewed by customer service representatives.
Meanwhile, Europe's governing body is
In addition, Intel is charged with paying a "leading original equipment manufacturer" to delay the launch of a product with an AMD central processing unit, and giving "substantial" rebates to the same OEM if it bought only CPUs from Intel.
Microsoft's latest legal headache is a suit from a little-known company called Gotuit Media, which charges that
Gotuit may be a relative unknown, but Microsoft is facing an opponent it knows quite well. Gotuit is represented by San Francisco-based lawyer Spencer Hosie, the same Hosie that successfully represented Burst.com in its suit against Microsoft.
At least two companies in the legal spotlight managed to broker a compromise. YouTube will be
"Viacom and the other litigants have backed off their demand for YouTube user-viewing histories," Google said in a statement. "We have reached agreement to anonymize the data."
The move comes after a federal court earlier this month