Bill Gates shared a few thoughts on Microsoft’s deal with Yahoo during a Fox Business Network interview keyed to the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting.
Gates was interviewed by Liz Claman along with Buffett and Susan Decker, former Yahoo president.
Gates and Decker both said the Yahoo merger was sensible, although other Microsoft shareholders were relieved that Yahoo rejected Microsoft’s $44.6 billion offer before the economy dove in 2008.
Here are a few excerpts provided by the network.
Decker on whether Yahoo should have teamed up with Microsoft:
“Yes absolutely. I think it was a mistake that the merger was not effected for Yahoo shareholders.”
Gates on the strategic partnership between Yahoo and Microsoft:
“The companies are doing a lot together. Google is a tough competitor, so combining some of the strengths of Yahoo and Microsoft clearly made sense; whether that was done through a merger or a key business deal where it ended up that gives that partnership a chance of competing with Google and making sure they don’t get too lazy.”
Gates on whether he advises Buffett to buy technology companies:
“I think he is very wise in sticking to businesses that have a more predictable future.”
Gates, Buffeet and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger all said the rich should pay more taxes — and the Bush tax cuts shouldn’t have been extended — to help lower the deficit. The exchange:
Munger: “No. I would argue that we could stand a little higher taxes on people like me.”
Buffett: “And me.”
Munger: “And you, too.”
Claman: “Bill’s a little quiet there.”
Gates: “I’ll pay if you pay.”
Gates: “No, I pay more taxes than anyone so I’m — and I’m glad to pay more.”