Microsoft & Yahoo: Talking…

It has been nearly a week since Microsoft’s deadline for Yahoo! to accept their merger offer has passed. There had been indications that Microsoft would simply walk away from the deal. But then on Wednesday, it was reported the Microsoft Board was meeting about the possible acquisition. Then late Thursday there was the possibly Microsoft was going to attempt a hostile take over.

Today the New York Times is reporting Microsoft and Yahoo are in active merger talks. According to an anonymous source involved in the discussion:

Microsoft, which had threatened to abandon its bid, has increased its offer “by several dollars,” this person said. The merger talks represent an enormous breakthrough following weeks of behind-the-scenes discussions without any progress. Exact terms being discussed could not be learned.

News of the talk caused Yahoo’s stock to rally, trading as high as $29.73 per share, an increase of about 7.5% from the $27.65 per share opening price. Yahoo’s stock closed at $28.67 per share but was around $29.45 per share in after-hours trading. The New York Times also reports:

…some Yahoo shareholders say that they have received a flurry of phone calls from both Yahoo and Microsoft, as the two companies are trying to find out what price large shareholders would find acceptable.

Microsoft’s stock dropped slightly to $29.24 per share today for yesterday’s $29.40 per share close (which was the highest closing price this week). In after-hours trading the stock has dropped another 10¢ per share.

Even though both parties are in active talks, The Wall Street Journal points out:

Though the talks have intensified, a deal was not imminent and the people familiar with the matter said an agreement was not likely on Friday. The people cautioned that the talks could fail to produce an accord, as have previous attempts to reach a deal.

News Source: Todd Bishop’s Microsoft Blog