Steve Ballmer May Want Yahoo. Microsoft Does Not.

Microsoft (MSFT) may not need Yahoo (YHOO), but Steve Ballmer’s legacy sure does.

Perhaps that is why Ballmer opened a new chapter in the annals of perpetual torment [Thursday] with this musing at the GartnerITXpo: A Microsoft takeover of Yahoo would “make sense economically for the shareholders of both companies,” he declared. As you might expect, given the irrepressible optimism of Yahoo shareholders, Yahoo’s shares jumped 12 percent on the news.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ballmer was not referring to a takeover of Yahoo, but a search deal; Moore was incorrect that he was talking about a merger.]

It wasn’t long before Microsoft officially pulled back the string. A Microsoft spokesman told us, “Our position hasn’t changed. Microsoft has no interest in acquiring Yahoo; there are no discussions between the companies.”

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