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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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May 2, 2008 1:53 PM

Microsoft, Yahoo negotiating, according to anonymous reports

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

We have not been able to independently verify reports in The Wall Street Journal and New York Times this afternoon that Yahoo and Microsoft are back at the negotiating table.

The stories rely on anonymous sources "involved in the discussions" or "familiar with the matter" -- likely some of the same people -- and make the following points:

-- Talks have intensified today, as the sides try to find a friendly deal and avert a hostile takeover by Microsoft.

-- A deal is not imminent; the talks could disintegrate, as they have in the past; no announcement is expected today.

-- The two sides remain separated by price, but the gap is only a few dollars a share (which is several billion dollars in total). Reports suggest Microsoft could raise its price to $33 a share, while big holders of Yahoo stock want $35 to $37 a share.

A Microsoft spokesman had no comment on any of the reports.

The markets took the rumors into account Friday, bidding Yahoo shares up 6.9 percent, $1.86, to $28.67. Microsoft shares shed 16 cents to $29.24.

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