Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) CEO said the company will not seek to make a spate of other Internet acquisitions in the wake of its failed bid for Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), the Financial Times reported on Friday.
Speculation has emerged that Microsoft could try to buy Facebook, in which it already owns a small stake, the AOL division of Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) and several smaller concerns, the newspaper reported in its online edition.
“People don’t understand what they’re talking about,” Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said in an interview with the Financial Times.
“At the end of the day, this is about the ad platform. This is not about just any one of the applications,” he added.
Microsoft abandoned a $47.5 billion offer to buy Yahoo last month, but had more recently discussed a deal to take a 16 percent in Yahoo and buy its search business for $9 billion as part of its effort to establish a stronger foothold in online advertising.
While fanning the flames of speculation concerning the software giant’s next steps, the end of the two companies’ merger discussions may have sent Microsoft’s former acquisition target reeling.
Reports on Thursday said a number of the Web portal’s senior
executives are departing in the aftermath of the failed deal, as Yahoo seeks to improve earnings and convince shareholders that it remains worth at least as much as the rejected Microsoft bid.
Yahoo President Sue Decker is also considering a reorganization that would centralize Yahoo mail, search and home page divisions into a global product organization, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The company did not respond to requests for confirmation from Reuters by press time.