The Microsoft & Yahoo! Saga Isn’t Over Yet

Posted Jul 2, 2008

Just when we thought that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) gave up on the acquisition for Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), there are reports appearing that the software conglomerate is trying to find partners to make a grab at Yahoo!’s search-ad business.

The partners that Microsoft are in talks with include Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) and News Corporation (NYSE:NWS.A).  The talks are just in the seed stages and will unlikely hinder Yahoo!’s advertising outsourcing agreement with Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called Yahoo! Chairman Roy Bostock to hold additional talks for a new idea involving other partners.  But then Microsoft cancelled the meeting.  While all this was happening, billionaire and major Yahoo! shareholder Carl Icahn was blogged about how his proxy fight is still one with Yahoo!

“At this time, due to SEC regulations, I do not intend to post your comments regarding the proxy fight. However, I am planning to give you my views about Yahoo and its management shortly,” wrote Icahn on his blog several days ago.

Microsoft representatives have met with Icahn recently to encourage his proxy fight.  And on August 1st, Yahoo! will be holding their annual shareholder meeting.

A timeline of all related events is available after the jump:

June 2007: Former Yahoo! CEO, Terry Semel Resigns, Jerry Yang steps up.
July 2007: Yang makes a 100 day plan to get Yahoo! off the ground again.
February 1, 2008: Microsoft makes an unsolicited offer to Yahoo! for $44.6 billion.
February 9, 2008: Yahoo! passes on Microsoft offer.
February 11, 2008: Rumor is that Yahoo! may merge with AOL.
February 12, 2008: Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer sends a letter to Yahoo! that Microsoft reserves the right to pursue all necessary steps to ensure that Yahoo!’s shareholders are provided with the opportunity to realize the value inherent in our proposal.
February 13, 2008: Layoff notices are given at Yahoo! Ryan Kuder Twitters the entire event.
April 4, 2008: Rumors begin to appear that Microsoft is deciding to pull the offer.
April 5, 2008: Microsoft sends a letter to Yahoo! stating that they may work out a separate deal with shareholders if a decision isn’t made.
April 7, 2008: Yahoo! Announces their AMP! advertising platform and stated that they want more money from Microsoft.
April 9, 2008: Yahoo! states that they may be interested in an ad outsourcing deal with Google.
April 10, 2008: Rumors appear that News Corp. AOL, and Google all want to arrange deals with Yahoo!
April 12, 2008: Capital Research & Management invests $2 billion more in Yahoo! shares giving them ownership of $6 billion worth of the company.
April 30, 2008: Rumor appears Microsoft increases the amount that they’re willing to spend.
May 4, 2008: Microsoft walks away from the negotiation table after Yahoo! demands too much of a high price for Microsoft.
May 4, 2008: Yahoo! responds by saying that through this experience, Yahoo! emerged as a stronger, more focused company.
May 7, 2008: Yahoo! & Google become more serious about Google Ads appearing on Yahoo!
May 14, 2008: Major Yahoo! shareholder, Carl Icahn steps in and calls the Yahoo! Board irrational.
May 20, 2008: Microsoft makes an offer to buy Yahoo!’s Search Advertising Business for an undisclosed amount.
May 23, 2008: Yahoo! Director, Edward Kozel resigns to spend more time with family.
May 23, 2008: Yahoo! postpones shareholder meeting for the second time.
May 28, 2008: Jerry Yang claims company isn’t under siege and Microsoft is no longer interested in buying out the whole company at All Things D conference.
May 30, 2008: FTC officially approves Icahn’s large purchases of Yahoo! stock.
June 2, 2008: Yahoo! court documents state that Yahoo! was planning to turn down a deal with Google one day before the Microsoft bid.
June 3, 2008: Carl Icahn indicates if proxy battle is successful, he’d want Jerry Yang out of CEO position.
June 4, 2008: Yahoo! Board decides annual shareholder meeting date to be held on August 1. 
Icahn sends Yahoo! a letter explaining that he believes Yahoo! CEO, Jerry Yang sabotaged the Microsoft bid. Roy Bostock responds to Icahn by saying that Microsoft is no longer interested in a full acquisition.
June 6, 2008: Carl Icahn sends a letter to Roy Bostock with a 5 point plan detailing what a new board would do for Yahoo!  Yahoo! sends back a quick response to Icahn saying that his letter is ?ill-advised.?
July 2, 2008: Reports indicate Microsoft is still interested in a new deal with Yahoo!