Microsoft Not Done With Yahoo, Circling For The Kill

You know the joke about Microsoft — they normally get things almost right on the third try. After failing miserably to get Yahoo in two initial attempts thus far, Steve Ballmer and Co. might be returning for yet another try, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Indeed, two weeks ago, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer called Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock to suggest they meet to discuss a new idea involving other partners, according to a person familiar with the matter…Yahoo remains skeptical about the viability of a deal that would break out its core search business. But the company remains open to discussing any proposal from Microsoft, people close to the company said.

This time they are looking to team up with News Corp. and Time Warner and bid for Yahoo, and essentially carve it up. That said, the whole story is full of caveats.

New details are now emerging that show a critical period in which Yahoo, under increased pressure from shareholders, pushed to sell itself to Microsoft. The overture came on May 17, two weeks after Microsoft officially dropped its pursuit of Yahoo.

The Journal captures a lot of behind-the-scenes drama, though it doesn’t quite convince me that there is something major in the offing. However, it does remind me of the often-seen scene on National Geographic of the African Serengeti, lions and hyena circling a buffalo that’s bleeding from a previous attack. The buffalo, in this case, is Yahoo.

I’m not sure how many people agree with me, but the whole Microsoft-Yahoo situation is just insane. I don’t even want to comment on Microsoft’s rationale to keep coming back to this deal. The desperation to go for Yahoo’s “search” business shows the world that Microsoft doesn’t put much faith in its own abilities. Well, at least that’s out of the way! The saddest part of this whole thing is watching Jerry Yang make missteps in public that might lead to the end of a company he helped start.