Is Jerry Yang getting eager to make a deal?
The Yahoo chief might well be reeling from Google's decision Wednesday to pull the plug on a search-ad partnership with Yahoo that would have given Yahoo major new revenue but that raised antitrust concerns. Google said the proposed partnership wasn't worth the headache after the Department of Justice notified Yahoo and Google that if they proceeded with their controversial search agreement, it would file a lawsuit to block the deal.
Now it appears that Yang is leaving the door very much open for an old suitor: Microsoft.
During a moderated "conversation" at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, Yang said late Wednesday that, "To this day, I have to say that the best thing for Microsoft to do is to buy Yahoo. I don't think that is a bad idea at all..."
But...wait for it...
"...at the right price, whatever the price is, we are willing to sell the company," he explained. "We were ready to negotiate, we wanted to negotiate a deal, and we felt that we weren't that far apart. But at the end of the day, they withdrew and they since have been very clear about not wanting to buy the company."
Yup, there's that tired, old "right price" qualifier that scuttled the deal at $33 a share and angered more than a few stockholders and employees.
If Microsoft were willing to do the deal today, it would doubtlessly be at a more bargain-basement price--say closer to half the original offer?
But maybe it's time for Yang to accept that he let a good catch get away.