Now, it appears, it’s Steve Balmer’s turn to push too hard. The Microsoft CEO publicly announced that his company has no interest in reviving merger talks with Yahoo. Nothing in his comments showed concerns that things have changed and Yahoo is not the same company. All Steve said was “we tried it once, why try again”. That’s sounding personal. The announcement sent Yahoo stock tumbling 14 percent to below $12 a share.
Maybe Steve can explain why Yahoo was so attractive six months ago at $30 a share but it has no appeal now at $20 a share? Microsoft still has a giant war chest and hasn’t burned through the billions set aside for their own stock buy back. It all still sounds like hardball. Or maybe he just wants one more slap at poor Jerry Yang. I can hear Eric Schmidt chuckling just below the sounds of Icahn cursing.
The real questions remaining are; if they complete this deal, how do they stop the brain drain at Yahoo? What are Icahn plans from here ( expect him to call Redmond)? How long does Yang have left? And how on earth are they going to merge these corporate cultures? That could be the real sticking point for MS.