What Steve Ballmer really said about YahooKara Swisher calls Steve Ballmer's tendency to run at the mouth "executive Tourette syndrome." Funny because it's true! Microsoft's CEO sent Yahoo's stock soaring yesterday with comments that were widely reported as suggesting renewed interest in buying the company. We'll skip Swisher's blah-blah-blah analysis and let you judge for yourself exactly what Ballmer said:
NEIL MCDONALD: So advertising and all that business model change that certainly has to be the driving force for why you were very interested in acquiring a company called Yahoo, whose stock we noticed has continued to drop. So we have to ask you if the acquisition made sense eight months ago, why wouldn’t it make even more sense now, now that the price would presumably be a lot lower? STEVE BALLMER: Well, I don’t know if the price would be lower. We offered $33 not too long ago, and it’s $11-1/2 today, and so I don’t know what price might have really gotten the job done. It’s clear that Yahoo did not want to sell the company. It didn’t want to sell when we offered $33. You’ve got to believe they don’t want to–if they thought the company was worth more than $33 six months ago, they probably still think it’s worth at least $33 today. And so I think what we learned through that is, look, they want to remain independent. Perhaps there will continue to be opportunities to partner around search. We’re not in any discussions with them, but that was an offer we made after the acquisition had fallen through. We’ll see. I still think it would make sense economically for their shareholders and ours.