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Yang: Microsoft Squashing Us On Purpose

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang says that "to trust (Carl) Icahn and his board is really a bad choice," adding that Microsoft is trying to squash the company's share price without any real desire to complete a deal. Yang of course is responding to yesterday's news that Microsoft would be open to restarting acquisition talks with Yahoo if Icahn, the billionaire corporate raider, is able to wrest control of the company in a proxy fight next month. Icahn has said he would replace Yang if he succeeds.

Yang's position is that Yahoo is ready to strike a deal now, so why does Microsoft need to wait for a new board and CEO before reopening talks? He described Microsoft's unwillingness to negotiate "baffling". Microsoft, in response to Yang's claims, pointed to a statement the company issued on Monday: "We have concluded that we cannot reach an agreement with them. We confirm, however, that after the shareholder election, Microsoft would be interested in discussing with a new board a major transaction with Yahoo."

Yang, meanwhile, now has to convince shareholders that he and the board should remain even if Microsoft is unwilling to work with them. "I think that I can bring stability back to Yahoo, and I want to get on with building company," Yang said. "I think that the destabilizing by Microsoft has become more and more intentional. I am not happy about it."

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