They're baaack... and this time it's personal. With Yahoo facing a serious leadership vacuum amidst and ongoing executive exodus, the company is apparently reconsidering its recent decision to reject Microsoft's most recent partnership offer. That news was enough to send Yahoo's stock soaring 2.8 percent yesterday, its biggest one-day gain in two weeks. But it could get even more complicated than that: Microsoft is allegedly mulling a new offer to buy Yahoo outright, according to one source.
Don't get too excited yet, however. It's unclear if any of this is true.
Rumors of renewed Microsoft/Yahoo talks are making the rounds in a number of tech publications this week. Tellingly, Yahoo declined to comment on the rumors, which of course lends them some credibility, as the company has been quick to shoot down previous rumors. Microsoft, too, has declined to comment, and the software giant had previously responded to similar questions by noting that it was no longer interested in Yahoo.
Yahoo is under a lot of pressure to make changes. After announcing recently that it had rejected Microsoft's latest partnership offer, the company separately announced that it would outsource at least part of its search business to market leader Google. This set off antitrust worries, but it also lowered Yahoo's market value by 16 percent, causing yet another shareholder revolt. A steady stream of executives leaving Yahoo isn't helping matters either.
With just rumors of renewed Microsoft/Yahoo talks sending Yahoo's stock soaring, it's clear that Yahoo's shareholders still prefer a deal with the software giant. This should resonate with Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang and the rest of the Yahoo board of directors, all of whom are up for reelection in just over a month.
As for the possibility of a new Microsoft offer to purchase Yahoo, that's only a remote possibility, and the single source of that particular rumor, TechCrunch, cites only a single anonymous source. And Microsoft is allegedly considering offering less than the $33 a share they originally offered earlier this year: Since Yahoo believes that offer undervalued the company, they're unlikely to accept less just months later.
Or will they? Something tells me we haven't heard the last of this epic mess quite yet.