On Saturday, Steve Ballmer sent a pointed letter to Yahoo CEO and Chief Yahoo Jerry Yang that clearly indicated Ballmer’s frustration with the process. The full text of the letter can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/may08/05-03letter.mspx .
According to Ballmer’s letter, Yahoo had not only turned down Microsoft’s initial offer (a 62 percent premium on Yahoo’s stock price on January 31, the date of the offer) but had also turned down an offer last week of $33 per share (a 70 percent premium over the January 31 stock price) and had “insisted” (Ballmer’s words) on another $4 per share.
My personal opinion is that, just 3 months after its initial offer for Yahoo!, Microsoft is doing the right thing by walking away. Not just because of what Yahoo did or did not do to make the deal work, but because I think Microsoft might just be able to do it alone.
See the May 5th issue of the TO THE SHAREPOINT newsletter for more details.