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Friday, October 17, 2008
Balmer's Comments on Possible Ad Deal Excites Market

Microsoft'a Chief Executive St

"Perhaps there will continue to remain opportunities to partner around search," Ballmer told a Gartner Inc conference in Orlando, Florida, Reuters reported yesterday.

"We are not in any discussions with them. We'll see. They want to remain independent. There are probably still opportunities around search. I think it would still make sense economically for their shareholders and ours," Ballmer added.

The statement made Yahoo's shares rise as Yahoo's investors hoped that it could mean that the two sides are returning to the negotiating table. However Microsoft issued a statement saying it had no interest in buying Yahoo.

"Our position hasn?t changed. Microsoft has no interest in acquiring Yahoo!; there are no discussions between the companies," Microsoft said.

Talks between Microsoft and Yahoo broke off in July after Yahoo rejected Microsoft's proposal to buy its search advertising business.

Yahoo had also rejected in May a full acquisition bid from Microsoft that was priced at $33 per share, or $47.5 billion. Instead, Yahoo signed a search advertising pact with Google. Since talks broke off, Yahoo'a share has plunged to $11.37.

However, the current weak economy has influenced the outlook of the advertising market and any pursuit of new talks would be impeded by several issues.

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