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Thu, May 01, 2008 - Page 10 News List

Microsoft expected to make next move against Yahoo

QUIET BEFORE THE STORM? The two sides have not had contact since a deadline to consider an acquisition offer, but an attack on Yahoo’s board could be brewing

AFP , NEW YORK

Microsoft was expected to make its next move against Yahoo yesterday, with the software giant expected to try to replace Yahoo’s board of directors, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A Microsoft deadline for the Internet service company to accept its US$44.6 billion acquisition offer expired at midnight on Saturday, without comment from either side.

The two sides have had no formal negotiations since then but Microsoft’s next move could come at any time, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

One option being considered by Microsoft is nominating a proxy slate of directors that Yahoo shareholders would be asked to vote onto their company’s board, replacing current officials.

Microsoft has already selected 10 nominees and three alternates, an anonymous source told the newspaper.

Such a move “would represent a largely unanticipated middle path for Microsoft between walking away from its bid and pushing forward an aggressive hostile-takeover campaign,” the newspaper reported.

It would allow the software giant to delay fixing a firm new price on its offer for Yahoo, while preserving the option of going directly to Yahoo shareholders with a hostile takeover bid, the newspaper said.

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