Microsoft Buying Yahoo Search? Rubbish.

MicrohooThe Times of London says Microsoft is about to buy Yahoo search, providing a surprising amount of detail on the supposed deal. BoomTown’s Kara Swisher says it’s nonsense.

…a convoluted $20 billion deal that would include well-known Internet execs Jon Miller and Ross Levinsohn, is–in the words of one key player–”total fiction.”

Actually, that’s Levinsohn speaking, on the record. But that’s also the essential word from all key players regarding the Times’ report.

BoomTown has spoken to top sources at Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft (MSFT) too and all scoff at such a deal now taking place or that either side has been in any such discussions of late.

Yahoo’s entire market cap, in fact, is only $16 billion.

I’m with Kara on this one. She was the first to break the story of Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang stepping down, so she’s got good sources there. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has also made very clear his vehement disinterest in Yahoo, much to Yang’s utter humiliation.

That, and common sense dictates you don’t buy part of a $16 billion company for $20 billion. Of course, Ballmer isn’t known for his common sense, but even he must know that sixteen is less than twenty.

Microsoft to Yahoo: Not Interested

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's TongueThings are starting to look really, really sad for Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang. First, Google leaves him at the altar of their search advertising deal, rendering him without a mighty groom to fend off a Microsoft takeover.

Next, he suddenly changes his mind in favor of a Microsoft takeover, denying everything he fought for through most of the year.

Now, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer puts another nail in the coffin of Yang’s Christmas.

Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Sydney on Friday, Ballmer said: “Look, we made an offer, we made another offer. It was clear that Yahoo didn’t want to sell the business to us, and we moved on.”

Ballmer said other deals with Yahoo had also been unsuccessful. “We tried at one point to do a partnership around search, not advertising. That didn’t work either, so we moved on, and they moved on.”

“We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition,” he said. “I don’t know why they would be either, frankly.”

When discussing the failed takeover, which if successful would have been one of the biggest takeovers in IT history, Ballmer said “they turned us down at $33 a share, move on.”

What’s worse than throwing away your dignity as founder of the world’s second largest Internet giant? Having it thrown back at you by the twenty-fourth employee of the third largest Internet giant.