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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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April 1, 2008 9:40 AM

Microsoft says through Wall Street Journal it's not raising Yahoo offer

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

"There's no reason to bid against ourselves," someone close to Microsoft told The Wall Street Journal. The unnamed sources for the story insist "the stance isn't posturing."

Microsoft's original bid of $44.6 billion -- half in company stock, half in cash -- was made public Feb. 1. Because Microsoft's stock price has declined since then, the value of the bid has, too. As of yesterday's closing price, it stood at $41.7 billion.

But the company's shares are up today, perhaps on the news that it isn't considering raising the price. (The broader market is also up, so who knows.)

The Journal reports that Microsoft saw nothing in Yahoo's investor presentation to justify a raised bid. Likewise, Microsoft thinks its bid looks even better against the gloomy macro-economic backdrop.

Beyond the no-increased-bid headline is this interesting tidbit, that runs counter to the prevailing "wisdom" of people watching this chess match: "Other people familiar with Microsoft's thinking say the company has no immediate plans to nominate a slate of directors to replace Yahoo's current directors."

Many observers were/are expecting Microsoft to forward its own slate of directors. While the key phrase from the Journal is "no immediate plans," it's difficult to discern what of this is truth or fiction.

A Microsoft representative got back to me quickly to confirm that InfoWorld's irksome April Fool's story (headline: "Microsoft, Yahoo agree on buyout price") is just that. But when I asked about the veracity of the quotes in the Journal, no response.

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