Gates: Microsoft isn't privately raising Yahoo bid

Updated: 2008-02-20 09:29

Microsoft is not privately bargaining with web portal giant Yahoo over its rejected US$31-per-share buyout offer for the Sunnyvale-based company, according to media reports Tuesday.

This file photo shows Yahoo! billboard in San Francisco, California. [Agencies]

"We sent them a letter and said we think that's a fair offer. There's nothing that's gone on other than us stating that we think it's a fair offer," Bill Gates said in an interview with The Associated Press Monday. "They should take a hard look at it."

Microsoft Corp made an unexpected offer to buy Yahoo Inc for an estimated US$44.6 billion over two weeks ago. However, since then, Microsoft's share price has tumbled 12.8 percent, pushing the value of the cash-and-stock offer closer to US$41 billion.

Yahoo refused the offer and said it "substantially undervalues" the company's assets.

The Web portal business was said to be discussing a possible partnership with News Corp. It is said the complex deal aims to push its market value toward US$50 billion.

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Yahoo rejects offer as undervalued; Microsoft renews bid

Yahoo was also reportedly discussing an advertising partnership with Google Inc.

Most analysts believe Microsoft will do whatever it takes to buy Yahoo.

It is believed Yahoo wants at least US$40 per share, but Microsoft has held firm so far, calling its original bid "full and fair."

Microsoft's next move could be to take the offer directly to Yahoo's shareholders, or to attempt a hostile takeover of Yahoo's board.

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