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April 24, 2008 1:45 PM

Buyout guru: Ballmer has to buy Yahoo, no need to raise bid

Posted by Brier Dudley

More from the WTIA Investment Forum today:

During his lunchtime keynote, Francisco Partners founder Benjamin Ball was asked whether Steve Ballmer should be going after Yahoo.

Running a buyout firm specializing in turnaround tech deals -- his firm snapped up Seattle's Watchguard, Attachmate and WRQ -- Ball has a little perspective here.

"I think he has to buy Yahoo,'' Ball said.

"I like mergers of this type of nature because we've crated a lot of a value that way," he explained. "I don’t think he has to pay anything more because I think Jerry Yang and the guys at Yahoo are in a lot more trouble than they think."

But Ball said he didn't know whether the Yahoo deal will be enough for Microsoft to knock the Google guys off their perch. "Those guys, they're not going to fall off, so to speak,'' he said.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.