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Yahoo nixes June 10 shareholders meeting

Despite a February filing with the SEC, the company says it has not set a date for the shareholders meeting, leaving up in the air a key piece of the puzzle of how Yahoo might be made to fit with Microsoft.

Updated version, with rewrites throughout, of a story originally posted at 9:39 AM PDT.

Yahoo said Monday afternoon that it has not set a date for its shareholders meeting after all, contrary to the timetable that had been described in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission two months ago.

In a letter dated Feb. 1, the same day that Microsoft announced its unsolicited bid for Yahoo, the Internet pioneer sent a letter to the SEC. The letter, from Yahoo's associate general counsel Christina Lai, asked the agency to clarify whether Yahoo had to include in its proxy a shareholder proposal, which requested that Yahoo establish a new policy for doing business in China regarding aid to the civil rights movement there.

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The letter, which was made public earlier Monday, also informed the SEC of the company's plans for its 2008 shareholder's meeting: "The company's 2008 annual meeting is scheduled to be held on June 10, 2008. Yahoo intends to file its definitive proxy materials with the Commission on or about April 21, 2008 and to commence mailing those materials to its stockholders on or about that date."

A Yahoo spokeswoman on Monday now says that the company does not plan to hold the shareholders meeting on June 10 and has not set a date for when the meeting will be held.

At the extreme, if Yahoo has not held the shareholders meeting by July 13, Microsoft can go to the Delaware Chancery court and ask a judge to force a meeting as soon as possible. Should a judge fast-track a shareholders meeting, it wouldn't happen any earlier than 30 days beyond a court hearing, say proxy solicitors.

Up to this point, Yahoo has been coy in stating when it will hold its shareholder's meeting, other than to note that once it sets the date, Microsoft--or any other shareholder--will have 10 days to nominate an opposition slate.

On Saturday, Microsoft set a deadline for Yahoo, urging the company to start and conclude a merger deal in the next three weeks. On Monday, Yahoo responded by saying, in essence, raise the bid or we're not interested.