Just An Online Minute... Yahoo Buys Time

Giving itself some breathing room, Yahoo today said it amended its bylaws to extend the deadline for nominating directors. The new deadline is 10 days after Yahoo sets a date for this year's annual meeting. Previously, the nomination deadline was March 14.

"The amendment will give stockholders who want to nominate one or more directors, including Microsoft Corporation, more time to do so," Yahoo said in a statement. The company added that the postponement "will allow Yahoo!'s board to continue to explore all of its strategic alternatives for maximizing value for stockholders without the distraction of a proxy contest."

Yahoo hasn't yet said when the next company meeting will take place, but the latest possible date appears to be mid-July -- 13 months after the last meeting, which occurred on June 12.

Microsoft had been gearing up to nominate its own slate of directors by next week, so the bylaws change appears likely to take some of the short-term pressure off of both companies.



Meanwhile, Yahoo continues to seek alternatives to a Microsoft buyout. According to press reports, Yahoo has talked with all of the other major players -- Google, AOL and Fox -- about some form of alliances that could keep Microsoft at bay.

But industry observers have said that it's unlikely that any other company can offer a deal that will be as attractive to Yahoo shareholders as Microsoft. On Feb. 1, Microsoft publicly offered to buy Yahoo for $31 a share, or $44.6 billion in a combination of cash and stock.

At the time, Yahoo stock was trading at around $19 a share, meaning the deal marked a 62% premium. Since then, Yahoo stock has soared to around $28. Microsoft's has dipped slightly, making the total purchase price a little lower now than when the company first went public with the offer.

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