Microsoft withdraws proposal to acquire Yahoo

SAN FRANCISCO, May 3, 2008 (AFP) – Microsoft on Saturday yanked its proposal to acquire Yahoo, saying the struggling Internet pioneer refused to budge on price despite the software giant upping its offer to nearly 50 billion dollars. Talks aimed at resolving corporate dueling that began with Microsoft’s offer on February 1 to buy Yahoo for 31 dollars per share ended with the two firms unable to close a multi-billion-dollar gap in price expectations.

“Despite our best efforts, including raising our bid by roughly five billion dollars, Yahoo has not moved toward accepting our offer,” Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said in a letter posted on his company’s website.

“We continue to believe that our proposed acquisition made sense for Microsoft, Yahoo and the market as a whole.”

“After careful consideration, we believe the economics demanded by Yahoo do not make sense for us, and it is in the best interests of Microsoft stockholders, employees and other stakeholders to withdraw our proposal,” said Ballmer.

In the letter, addressed to Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang, Ballmer said that earlier in the week Microsoft told Yahoo it was willing to raise its offer to 33 dollars per share.

The price increase adde