Monday, January 19, 2009

Microsoft & Yahoo Deal on the Way?

Microsoft's Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and Yahoo's Chairman Roy Bostock met in New York last week, according to media reports.

The New York Times reported on Friday that the two had met, citing a person briefed on the meeting.

Earlier, the gossip blog Valleywag reported that Ballmer and Bostock were spotted in Manhattan's Time Warner Center. Valleywag is a part of Gawker Media.

This would be the second contact in recent days between top executives at the two companies.

Yahoo's new chief executive, Carol Bartz, told employees earlier this week that she had a phone conversation with Ballmer, who has repeatedly said he remains interested in pursuing a search partnership with the Internet company.

A source familiar with the matter described Bartz's call to Ballmer as a "courtesy call," but declined to give further details of the conversation.

Bartz also told Yahoo employees her gut instinct is to hang on to the company's search business, another source earlier told Reuters.

Analysts have said Bartz's appointment could pave the way for a sale to Microsoft or a search deal.

Microsoft proposed to buy Yahoo's search assets after Yahoo rejected its $47.5 billion buyout offer, first made nearly a year ago.

Details of Ballmer and Bostock's conversation could not be learned, the New York Times said.

Yahoo and Microsoft declined comment.

Sources: New York Times, Valleywag, Reuters

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