Like two high schoolers anxious about whether the other one actually likes them, Yahoo and Microsoft continue to spark rumors about their off-and-on negotiations. Everyone, except the traders themselves, returned from lunch to see Yahoo shares spike upwards by almost $3 in a matter of minutes.
Michael Arrington at TechCrunch reports that a full buyout is back on. The site cites "multiple sources" on both sides, but in maddening high school style, they are scanty with actual details. More tipsters chime in to say that Microsoft is still a bidder for the whole of Yahoo if the price is right, which is news only in terms of shutting down CNBC's account.
CNBC slams the story, saying that a "source close to Microsoft" informs them that there are no buyout talks in any form. Microsoft's offer for Yahoo's search business has "always been on the table," although there's no word whether Yahoo has yet cottoned to it. Jim Goldman speculates that with the punishment Yahoo's share price has received their board members may have changed their mind.
Tech news site CNET says that negotiations could be back on for the sale of Yahoo's search segment. The Yahoo board earlier rejected that possibility, but "one major investor who has been in contact with both parties" hints that the directors may have come around. The poor reception of the announced deal for Google to provide ads is a likely contributor to any change of heart.
The Wall Street Journal reports that its own source rules out renewed buyout talks but repeats Microsoft's desire to purchase the search business. Unwilling to speculate on the claims that were giving traders so much hope, the Journal notes that evidence of negotiations "wasn't immediately apparent."
To add to the tumult, several high-ranking Yahoo managers have left the company in the wake of the failed Microsoft bid. Their departures, whether prompted by or in spite of the major reorganization planned by Yahoo President Susan Decker, have sharpened fears for the long-term health of Yang's company.
-Yeoman Yahoo correspondent Andrew