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Yahoo's Microsoft tab totaled $79 million

Yahoo ran up a double-digit multimillion dollar tab last year, paying outside advisers $79 million in its efforts to fend off Microsoft, according to an SEC filing.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto

Yahoo's tab in its efforts to fight off Microsoft last year ran $79 million, according to the company's filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yahoo spent much of that bill on outside advisers who helped it weigh Microsoft's proposals, which ranged from a total buyout bid for $33 a share to an eventual offer to acquire only Yahoo's search business. Yahoo rejected all of Microsoft's proposals.

Part of the $79 million bill was also attributed to hiring outside advisers for fighting off a proxy contest by activist shareholder Carl Icahn, who eventually settled with the company and received three seats on Yahoo's board.

A portion of the bill also went to Yahoo's outside advisers considering its controversial search agreement with Google, which ultimately ended with the companies walking away from the deal when federal antitrust regulators said it would challenge the deal.

For Yahoo, however, the true cost was much greater than just $79 million.

In the process, Yahoo founder and CEO Jerry Yang stepped down after enduring the brunt of shareholder anger and has since resumed his role as chief Yahoo. Sue Decker, who was Yahoo's president during the tumultuous year, lost out her bid to become the next CEO when Yahoo's board named former Autodesk chief Carol Bartz to oversee the troubled Internet company. And Yahoo saw an exodus of executives in June 2008.