Industry Abuzz on What’s Next: Yahoo/Microsoft

NEW YORK — A major investor in Yahoo (QUOTE NASDAQ:YHOO) has met with Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer to see if he would raise a $42 billion unsolicited offer for the company, the New York Post reported on Friday.

Capital Research and Management, which owns more than 11 percent of Yahoo shares and more than 6 percent of Microsoft, wants to know how much more the software maker might pay if Yahoo rejects the initial offer, the Post said, citing a source familiar with the meeting.

Officials for Capital Research and Microsoft declined comment on the report.

Separately, the TechCrunch blog said Yahoo’s board is due to meet on Friday to discuss the bid. Citing unnamed sources, the report said Yahoo advisors favor a deal, despite the interest of some executives to seek an alternative tie-up with Web search leader Google Inc.

A Yahoo spokeswoman said the company’s board was still “carefully and thoroughly evaluating” the Microsoft offer but would not comment on when its board plans to meet. Microsoft made its offer public on February 1.

Analysts have said Microsoft could be persuaded to raise its cash and stock bid, now worth about $29 per share based on Microsoft’s share price on Friday, to make it easier for Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang and his board to accept it.

Yahoo shares fell 9 cents to $28.95 on the Nasdaq. Microsoft shares rose 1.8 percent to $28.62.

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