For once Redmond isn't getting its way...
Three months on from its original bid and after placing a further $5bn on the table (bringing the total to $49.6bn) Microsoft has given up its hopes of purchasing Yahoo!
In a public letter to Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang, excitable Microsoft head honcho Steve Balmer began his concession in surprisingly generous terms, thanking the Yahoo! board members before going on to express his frustration:
"I still believe even today that our offer remains the only alternative put forward that provides your stockholders full and fair value for their shares. By failing to reach an agreement with us, you and your stockholders have left significant value on the table. But clearly a deal is not to be."
Balmer also admitted Yahoo's AdSense deal with Google "would make an acquisition of Yahoo! undesirable to us." So mission accomplished then.
As for Jerry Yang, Yahoo! co-founder and CEO, he responded saying "I am incredibly proud of the way our team has come together over the last three months. This process has underscored our unique and valuable strategic position. With the distraction of Microsoft's unsolicited proposal now behind us, we will be able to focus all of our energies on executing the most important transition in our history so that we can maximize our potential to the benefit of our shareholders, employees, partners and users."
Is Microsoft likely to come in again in future? Unless the Yahoo! share price falls dramatically it would seem highly unlikely. Of course many doubted the value behind such a move in the first place (with Riyad particularly unconvinced) and I suspect it could ultimately turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
As Mick Jagger would say: "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find, you get what you need."