The Wall Street Journal, which has become Microsoft’s official leak site, says that the Microsoft board is meeting now, as we speak, to consider what to do about Yahoo. Word of their deliberations is expected after the meeting.
The Journal says Microsoft is now willing to pay $32 or $33 a share for Yahoo, up from $31 (or $29.12 thanks to the post-Yahoo stock hit), but Yahoo’s major shareholders, which Microsoft has been courting, want $35-$37 and Yahoo’s board wants somewhere in the “upper 30s,” down from its previous $40.
The paper says Microsoft is shy about launching its threatened hostile takeover and could walk away – which, let’s face it, might be the most sensible thing to do. It could probably pick up Yahoo for less later on.
Yahoo, meanwhile, appears to be enamored of acquiring AOL and giving Time Warner 20% of the combined company as well as pursuing its notions of tying up on advertising with Google to boost its cash flow, a scheme that the antitrust regulators may disallow.
AOL’s results in the first quarter, by the way, turned up flat on display ads.
It said it’s been having problems integrating a billion dollars worth of acquisitions like Tacoda and Quigo into its Platform A, but thinks the issue is behind it.
Its revenues fell 23% year-over-year and its 1% gain in advertising couldn’t offset the 38% dive in subscriptions.
It’s definitely the low man on the totem pole compared to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.