- 6 Nov 08, 10:40 GMT
Jerry Yang's comments at the Web 2.0 Summit that: "The best thing for Microsoft to do is buy Yahoo" might have sounded desperate to some especially coming just hours after Google nixed a search advertising deal with the internet portal.
Mr Yang was also somewhat put out by Google's decision to walk away from the agreement because the heat coming from Washington was too much.
Though it did look like the Department of Justice was going to pursue an anti-trust suit over the search advertising deal that would have given both companies control over most of the market.
Still seemingly stinging from Google dumping Yahoo before it could dump Google, Mr Yang told a packed crowd that he was: "Disappointed they (Google) didn't want to defend it."
The decision at the end of the day didn't harm Yahoo's share price which rose 4% as a result to $13.92.
Perhaps it was that share price that prompted some mischief from Mr Yang when he put it out there that: "We're willing to sell the company."
That is of course at the right price. And no one knows what that is, except of course Mr Yang and he wasn't giving anything away on that front. But many shareholders will no doubt have some thoughts on that given that Microsoft offered $33 a share for the company back in May before negotiations went south along with their investment.
Microsoft is not responding to Mr Yang's advances though, with the billions in cash it has in the bank, it could surely get Yahoo for something of a knock down price compared to what it was prepared to offer earlier in the year.
For Mr Yang, this was a rare public appearance and one that many in the Web 2.0 crowd thought was going to get cancelled because he would know it would be a double whammy of awkward questions. Microsoft is never far from an interviewer's mind and today there was the added news of Google.
Another reason for the no show speculation was the circulation of a fake e-mail/memo that went around Yahoo priming staff to expect a major announcement suggesting Mr Yang was going to resign.
John Battelle, who hosted the conversation with Mr Yang at the Summit in San Francisco, acknowledged that it had been a tough year for the CEO and a tough 24 hours as well.
But Mr Yang pointed out that he was a fighter and his appearance in front of this tech crowd was proof of that.
"My personal belief is if you're not in the game to win, you shouldn't be in the game, and that's the way that I try to encourage the whole company to think about it."
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