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Frustrated Ballmer Still Wants Yahoo Search Deal

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer continues to push Yahoo to forge some kind of search alliance with the software giant. At an analyst meeting in New York yesterday, Ballmer said the companies should pool their resources to better compete with Google, the Web's dominant search engine. Even as he says this, Microsoft continues to poach Yahoo's top search talent.

"You all know that I would like to figure out how to pool somehow Microsoft and Yahoo," Ballmer said. "I'm hoping that's a reasonable conversation to have with new management at Yahoo." Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, who just took the helm last month, has said she's reluctant to rush into such a deal. Sachin Shah, an analyst with ICAP, tells Bloomberg that the fact that Ballmer keeps calling on Yahoo to do a deal means "The winds may have shifted" in the Web giant's favor.

According to the most recent comScore figures, Yahoo has gained search share against Google, which continues to lead the market with a 63% share. However, as Bloomberg points out, even when you combine Microsoft and Yahoo's fourth quarter Internet advertising revenues, it still accounts for less than half of what Google made over the same period. Said Ballmer: "I don't want to wind up being known as the Jerry Yang of this market. That whole episode left me understanding how shareholders can get frustrated with managements who aren't serious about performance."

Read the whole story at Bloomberg News »

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