New York (NY) – Both Microsoft and Yahoo dismissed rumors that they are in any discussion to sell Yahoo’s online search business for $20 billion. The Sunday Times reported that Microsoft had agreed to the “broad terms of a deal”, but claimed that there wasn’t any guarantee that they would go through with it.
“We continue to offer no comment on such rumors and speculation,” said a PR representative from Waggener Edstrom, one of Microsoft’s PR agencies, in a statement on Monday. Yahoo declined to comment on the report.
The Sunday Times also reported that Microsoft had plans to usher in Jonathan Miller, the former CEO of AOL, and Ross Levinsohn, a former president of Fox Interactive Media to lead a new management. It was also reported that Microsoft had plans to engage in a 10-year agreement with Yahoo to run its search business. Microsoft would be entitled to a two-year call option to purchase that business at $20 billion. Yahoo would still be responsible for managing its own e-mail, messaging, and content services, the paper stated.
Earlier this year, Microsoft $44.6 billion to purchase Yahoo – at $31 a share. Jerry Yang, cofounder and CEO at the time, gamble din the hope of a better offer, but Microsoft’s interest diminished.
Since then, Yahoo stock has fallen considerably. At the time of this writing, shares were trading just above $11, giving Yahoo a market cap of about $15.3 billion.
Yang recently stepped down from the position as CEO of the company.