Yahoo founder and chief executive Jerry Yang accused Microsoft of trying to destabilize Yahoo with no genuine intent to buy the company, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Yang, on the defensive as billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn seeks to unseat the current Yahoo board and install his own people in order to propel Yahoo into Microsoft’s hands, told the Journal that Microsoft has not pursued talks with the company in earnest.

He noted in an interview with the newspaper that Microsoft has recently expressed interest in opening new negotiations to buy Yahoo’s search engine business if Icahn’s proxy fight succeeds.

“To trust Mr. Icahn and his board is really a bad choice,” Yang told the Journal.

“I think that the destabilizing by Microsoft has become more and more intentional. I am not happy about it.”

On Monday Yahoo’s stock price jumped nearly 12 percent after Microsoft said it is willing to reopen talks on a “major transaction” with Yahoo if its board undergoes a major shakeup.


The world’s biggest software firm confirmed Icahn’s comments about talks that could lead to a new takeover bid if Yahoo replaces its directors next month.

Yahoo earlier defended its handling of the takeover bid and accused Microsoft of joining forces with Icahn to overthrow its directors.

“Now (Microsoft chief executive Steve) Ballmer and Mr. Icahn have teamed up in an apparent effort to force Yahoo into selling to Microsoft its search business at a price to be determined in a future ‘negotiation’ between Mr. Icahn’s directors and Microsoft’s management,” Yahoo said.

Yahoo said its board approached Ballmer as recently as June to renew takeover talks, but was told Microsoft was no longer interested.

“If Microsoft and Mr. Ballmer really want to purchase Yahoo, we again invite them to make a proposal immediately,” Yahoo said.

Source – AFP