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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Microsoft and News Corp. lock arms for Yahoo bid?

April 9, 2008 8:28 PM PDT

Are Microsoft and News Corp. locking arms for a joint bid for Yahoo?

That would be something.

According to a report Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal, the two industry titans are in "serious talks" over such a matter. Details as to why Microsoft feels a need to bring another party into its Yahoo bid are unclear.

The software giant could afford to pay more for Yahoo on its own, given the size of its cash reserve and the volume of cash that flows from its business. And despite the weakening economy and credit crunch malaise that's hitting Wall Street, Microsoft could easily obtain more financing if needed to do the deal.

Is there some sudden strategic reasoning that went off like a lightbulb for the dudes in Redmond that made the notion of a News Corp. partnership suddenly seem attractive for its Yahoo buyout bid? Or maybe there is some tangible benefit to chatting with News Corp., who might have gotten a glimpse of Yahoo's books, whereas Microsoft to date has been shut out.

The day-by-day, nearly hour-by-hour, developments involving Yahoo since Microsoft on Saturday issued a three-week deadline for its reluctant target to do a deal is enough to make your head spin--from the Legg Mason investor offering support to Yahoo should Microsoft lower its bid to Yahoo looking at a two-week test for Google search ads to the never-ending noise that Yahoo is looking at doing an asset swap/investment with Time Warner's AOL.

One thing is for certain as the days count down to the three-week deadline: the volume of noise is going to get even louder and more frequent...

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