What is the problem? I mean, seriously. Yahoo! has been sitting on a $42 billion unsolicited offer on the table from Microsoft for two months, and other than a bunch of caterwauling since, Yahoo hasn't done much one way or the other.
I hear from a source close to the situation that top execsfrom both sides met this week in Sunnyvale to continue "informal" talks, but when Microsoftrefused to raise its offer, Yahoo refused to take the talks to the next level. And so here we sit, wondering what happens next.
I hear there's an important meeting at Yahoo coming up this Monday that will include top execs and division leaders. I'm hearing it's an all-hands-at-the-executive-level type of thing. Is this the meeting that Microsoft has been waiting for? Is Yahoo ready to throw in the towel and it's holding this meeting to notify managers that a deal is imminent?
Or, is it instead going to be a rah-rah gathering reiterating Yahoo's intention not to buckle under the 62 percent premium Microsoft is offering for the company? I'm still trying to nail this down, but don't be fooled: just because the deal hasn't been completed doesn't mean there's not a lot of backroom dramas still playing out.
A couple of things to consider here: There's been a lot of talk that the longer Yahoo delays, the more the risk is that Microsoft will walk from the deal. I don't believe that's a worry. I think Microsoft is on the hook to get a deal done, it doesn't merely want Yahoo, it craves it, and I'd be surprised if Microsoft walks. And Yahoo knows it. But more importantly, Yahoo has that pesky fiduciary responsibility to shareholders to maximize value, and that includes getting top dollar for the company, and also running that company day to day as successfully as it can. And herein lies the problem.