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Ballmer: Attack Google with or without Yahoo

Microsoft's CEO tells financial analysts that the company has a plan to take on its major rival. Yahoo could speed up the plan, but it will build its ad business, regardless.

Steve Ballmer spent plenty of time talking about Yahoo during Microsoft's just-concluded meeting with financial analysts on Monday. However, the CEO offered little news with regards to the company's $44.6 billion bid for Yahoo.

He reiterated many of the things he said in announcing the deal Friday, talking about the need for scale in the business and the benefits of combining the two companies' research-and-development efforts.

Ballmer also echoed General Counsel Brad Smith's comments Sunday--that Microsoft buying Yahoo would increase competition by creating a stronger alternative to Google, while other potential options for Yahoo would ultimately reduce competition.

Asked whether Microsoft had purchased any Yahoo shares on the open market, Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell declined to comment.

Asked what would happen if Microsoft's bid does not go through, Ballmer said Microsoft would continue full steam ahead with its existing plan to build its online-ad business.

"We have a chance to get further sooner through the acquisition of Yahoo," Ballmer said, adding that Microsoft is "on a path, and we'll stay on that path, regardless."