In a presentation filed with SEC earlier this week, Yahoo's board tried to convince Yahoo shareholders that "the record casts doubt on whether Microsoft was ever committed to a whole company acquisition." But Yahoo shareholders don't buy it. You shouldn't either. Why? Remember the five weeks between when Microsoft made is offer public on February 1 and March 10, when Yahoo execs finally agreed to meet. One major shareholder tells us:
When you look back at this fiasco, the critical error on Yahoo's part was doing nothing for 5 weeks after the initial offer. They thought they could play hard to get. We've gotten a round-trip back to $19.
Yahoo wants to play it now like Microsoft was the one that rejected the deal, but even when Yahoo execs finally did meet with Microsoft on March 10, they refused to discuss how much they actually would sell the company for. Yahoo used antitrust concerns — the one's they've ignored doing a deal with Google — as excuse for why they couldn't talk price. Even an April 15 meeting at Bill Gates's father's law firm in Portland went without Yang saying how much it would take. Microsoft's top lawyer Brad Smith called it "one of the strangest meetings that we've ever had." Finally, on May 2, Yahoo's board came up with a number: $37 per share. But by then, four months after Microsoft made its offer public, Ballmer had already decided he didn't want the deal. In fact, reports the Wall Street Journal, Ballmer made his decision in the middle of March — after about 5 weeks of Yahoo silence.