Despite CEO Ballmer's Continued Public Flirting

By Abbey Klaassen

October 17, AdAge

NEW YORK ( -- "Our position hasn't changed. Microsoft has no interest in acquiring Yahoo; there are no discussions between the companies," a Microsoft spokesman said in an e-mail.

f that all sounds familiar, it's because Microsoft has made such declarations several times in recent months as it disputed rumors about making another bid for Yahoo. But this latest statement, sent to Ad Age today, came just hours after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told the audience at a Gartner conference in Orlando, Fla., that the deal still makes "economic sense."

Investors encouraged

Yahoo's stock soared 20% on Mr. Ballmer's remarks, indicating just how dearly its investors are hoping for a revived Microsoft bid. It's now up about 10% to $13.

Of course, it makes more economic sense now, given Yahoo's stock price has slumped in recent weeks, dropping into the $12 range. At the time of Microsoft's initial $31-a-share bid (which was upped to $33 a share before negotiations finally ended), Yahoo's stock had been languishing in the $18-$19 range.

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photo: Steve Ballmer (Credit: Nancy Kaszerman)