Microsoft is practicing the "Golden Rule" when it comes to Yahoo and shareholder activist Carl Icahn.
The software giant, which initially encountered a from Yahoo after back in February, is not treating Icahn in a similar manner, as the activist investor uses his proxy fight to push the two companies together for a merger.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently shed a little light on the software giant's relationship with Icahn in an . In that interview, Ballmer said:
We had no contact with Carl Icahn before he bought his stake...Obviously, he has talked to some of our folks since then. He's kind of an independent actor in the thing.
Icahn, however, may actually want an ensemble role, much like he had in Oracle's acquisition of BEA Systems earlier this year.
Icahn, in a CNBC interview earlier this week, characterized his communications with Microsoft's management this way:
I wouldn't say closely and I wouldn't want to talk about it anyway. You know? I would just tell you that I do believe that Microsoft really eventually would want and would need this company, so, you say, well, you know, you can't say that there will be a deal next week, but hopefully there might be something.