Ballmer Ready to Move on Yahoo?

Steve Ballmer

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Source: Reuters

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is standing by its $44 billion bid for Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) and will “move forward” if it is rejected, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said on Wednesday.

Microsoft, the world’s biggest software company by market value, has made an unsolicited bid for Yahoo, a U.S. Internet media and advertising company. On Tuesday Yahoo released better than expected first-quarter results, leading to speculation Microsoft could alter its bid.

“We know what Yahoo is worth to us. We offered a lot of money: $44 billion, it is not a lot of euros anymore. If their board thinks that’s fair, great. If not, we’ll move forward,” Ballmer said onstage after an address at an information technology event.

He did not explain what he meant by moving forward.

Ballmer later told a news conference, “Time is money. We made clear in the last letter we sent” to Yahoo’s board. “We’ll see what happens.”

Yahoo faces a Saturday deadline to respond to Microsoft, after which Microsoft has said it will launch a proxy battle to unseat Yahoo’s board.

Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo to challenge Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) in online advertising.

Asked whether Microsoft could make a bid for Google, Ballmer said in part that he did not think the Internet company would be interested and a bid would raise regulatory issues.

Yahoo and Microsoft rank number two and three in Web search respectively and are at a standoff. Microsoft has said its offer of $31 a share is fair, but Yahoo has said the cash-and-stock offer undervalues the company.

In the video game sector, Ballmer was asked if Microsoft planned to alter its Xbox prices in light of a cut in prices for its Xbox 360 video game console in Europe last month.

“We’re pretty comfortable right now with Xbox pricing,” Ballmer said at the news conference.

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