Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
The back and forth started with Google pulling out of a deal Wednesday that it had reached with Yahoo! in June of 2008, which itself followed an aborted buyout offer of Yahoo! by Microsoft that ended with Yahoo! rejecting Big Redmondis advances.
Today, Bloomberg reported that Steve Ballmer returned the favor during a conference in Sydney, Australia, where he added his company is not planning on making another bid for Yahoo!, even though Microsoft had gone as far as to threaten a hostile take over a few short months ago.
Microsoft has been wanting to buy its way into the search business having spent the last several years getting nowhere trying to do it on its own. The company has said that it considers Internet search a big part of its future.
At the time, Yahoo! said that Microsoft was undervaluing the company with its offer, and the two companies spent several months in negotiations that eventually ended with Yahoo! holding firm and Microsoft empty handed.
Itis that state of affairs that makes todayis back and forth with Yahoo! being interested in a Microsoft buyout and Microsoft playing coy all the more interesting. The situation has already launched all sorts of speculation about the role of Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang in the company he cofounded.