Gates Not Ruling New Deals Out

SEOUL — Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) does not rule out partnerships with other companies but has nothing imminent, Chairman Bill Gates said on Tuesday, after the software company pulled a $47.5 billion bid for Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO).

Microsoft walked away from its bid to buy Yahoo on Saturday, after the Internet company turned down its $33-per-share offer.

“The key decisions on that will be made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who took a look at Yahoo and decided that, on our own, he likes the stuff that we’re doing,” Gates said in response to a reporter’s question about Microsoft’s plans.

“I wouldn’t rule out some partnerships but we don’t have anything imminent there,” he added.

Gates’ comments were part of a media pool report. He spoke after meeting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to discuss cooperation with South Korean companies.

Microsoft courted Yahoo to capitalize on the rapidly growing market for Internet advertising, which has long been served by Yahoo’s search, e-mail and Web communities.

It is also trying to fend off the expansion of Google, which has made inroads into Microsoft’s home turf with a portfolio of Web based-applications.

Microsoft now needs to convince investors it has a viable alternative to fix an online business that has racked up nine straight quarters of losses.

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