The world's top software company could boost its online presence dramatically if Yahoo accepts a $44.6 billion bid to be purchased.
Microsoft has offered Yahoo shareholders a 62 percent premium on their shares to sell the company.
Yahoo's latest disappointing earnings announcement helped to depress the stock price, making it a renewed target for a takeover.
"We have great respect for Yahoo!, and together we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions
for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online
services market," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement.
With online advertising projected to grow to $80 billion by 2010, Microsoft can grab a larger slice of that pie if it can pull in Yahoo, which ranks as the world's heaviest trafficked web property.
From Yahoo Press Release:
Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO), a leading global Internet company, today said that it has received an unsolicited proposal from Microsoft to acquire the Company. The Company said that its Board of Directors will evaluate this proposal carefully and promptly in the context of Yahoo!'s strategic plans and pursue the best course of action to maximize long-term value for shareholders.
From Nicki Dugan at the Yahoo! Anecdotal Blog:
Our Response To Microsoft's Proposal
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Microsoft made an unsolicited proposal to acquire Yahoo! yesterday evening. Since then, we’ve gotten quite a number of questions about what this means for Yahoo!. Right now our board of directors is evaluating the proposal and looking at all of our strategic alternatives, including maintaining Yahoo! as an independent company.
A review process like this is fluid and can take quite a bit of time, so while there’s not much we can say right now, we did want to refer you to this brief FAQ for more information.
From the FAQ referenced above issued by Yahoo Press:
FAQ: Unsolicited Proposal From Microsoft
Q1. How is Yahoo! responding to Microsoft’s proposal?
The Yahoo! Board is undertaking a deliberate review process. They’re going to take time to thoroughly evaluate the proposal in the context of Yahoo!'s strategic plans. This will include evaluating all of the Company’s strategic alternatives – including maintaining Yahoo! as an independent company. That process will take some time, but the Board will ultimately pursue the option that it believes can best maximize value for our shareholders.
Q2. How long will the Board’s review process take?
A review process like this is fluid, and it can take quite a bit of time.
Q3. Will the Board seek proposals from any other companies?
The Board is going to evaluate all of Yahoo!’s strategic alternatives and pursue the option that it believes can best maximize value for our shareholders.
Q4. What would a deal like this mean for Yahoo!’s users, advertisers, publishers, partners and people?
Yahoo!’s Board is going to evaluate all aspects of this proposal carefully and promptly in the context of the company's strategic plans and alternatives. So it wouldn't be appropriate to speculate about the potential benefits or challenges of a deal. But the review process that's underway won't have any impact on our efforts to deliver value to all of our users, advertisers, publishers and partners – as well as new and exciting opportunities to our employees.