Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang refuses to negotiate with Microsoft, but Yahoo's largest shareholders aren't so coy. Take Legg Mason portfolio manager Bill Miller's posturing in today's Wall Street Journal, for example. Miller, responsible for the second largest stake in Yahoo, today called Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's weekend ultimatum to the Yahoo board a "blunder."
Miller told the Wall Street Journal Microsoft's current bid is already "something I'm too excited about" and that "telling the shareholders you're going to take something away from them is not a way to get their support." Miller said he'd rather own stock in an independent Yahoo than sell his shares to Microsoft at a price below its original offer. But Miller, unlike Yang, isn't vying for an independent Yahoo, people. He made it clear he's looking for a better deal. "If Microsoft raises the offer, the pressure shifts very quickly to Yahoo to negotiate," he told the WSJ. "To me, bumping the number up a buck [from $31 a share], that would have a big impact psychologically on shareholders."