Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer recently commented on Yahoo's (Nasdaq: YHOO) present situation by saying "Sometimes you're lucky." He was referring to his company's rebuffed attempt to buy Yahoo a few years ago for $47 billion. But that doesn't necessarily mean he thinks owning Yahoo now would be a bad idea -- perhaps all he meant was that by waiting a few years, Microsoft may be able to get Yahoo for a whole lot less than $47 billion.
And that's exactly what it intends to do, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Several billions in Microsoft cash would be joined with financing from Silver Lake and the CPP Investment Board.
Although Microsoft's and Yahoo's search engines are already connected in a roundabout sort of way, an all-out purchase could put a little more kick into Yahoo's ailing search business. Microsoft's been able to bring Bing a long way in its short time on the market. And despite Yahoo's problems with vision and direction, its properties still get tons of traffic. Visitors may skew a little on the older side, but that means more disposable income. Microsoft could get all of this for much less than it would have had to pay in 2008.
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