Ballmer: We Can Do A Lot With $50 Billion

Friday, May 23, 2008 by Mistlee

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Internet Financial News May 23, 2008

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Ballmer: We Can Do A Lot With $50 Billion

Ballmer: We Can Do A Lot With $50 Billion

The game of will they/won't they acquire Yahoo continues, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bragged to the media about having money to play with means a deal with Yahoo isn't a necessity.

Though plenty of high-powered wealthy types want to see Microsoft back at the table with Yahoo, to talk about more than just a search and contextual ad deal, Ballmer isn't ready to play that game publicly yet.

Microsoft's CEO said in Reuters that going after Yahoo never actually meant going after Yahoo. Wait, what?

"Yahoo was never the strategy we were pursuing, it was a way to accelerate our online advertising business," he told a packed hall at a technology conference in Moscow.

"We will spend money on some acquisitions. You can do a whole lot of things with 50 billion dollars," he said.

Some tech pundits suggested Microsoft could acquire every interesting startup in Silicon Valley with that much cash and still have money left over for other ventures. A Facebook acquisition persists as a Microsoft rumor, given the relationship between the two companies at present.

However, Microsoft may fork over some of that cash to Yahoo anyway, if for no other reason than to keep Yahoo from making a search and ad deal with Google. Such a result, barring antitrust objections you can be certain Microsoft would raise, presents the possibility of Google padding its lead in search and leaving Microsoft far in the distance.

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