CNET is reporting this morning “informal merger discussions” are taking place between Yahoo and Microsoft. The source is unnamed, and there are several caveats that make this soup taste pretty thin. But perhaps the tide is starting to turn on Microsoft’s acquisition offer, now six weeks old.
Earlier this week, prominent tech pundits were again considering a scenario in which Microsoft waits for Yahoo’s April 22 earnings report — which could be ugly — and then pulls its offer. Presumably, this would send Yahoo shares down the tubes. Then Microsoft could come back with a lower offer that investors and management (already under a barrage of shareholder lawsuits) would have to see as the only port in the storm.
I’ve asked Microsoft for comment on the CNET report, and any update on the status of the offer.
Meanwhile, TechCrunch has named four potential Microsoft candidates for Yahoo’s board of directors:
— Edward H. Meyer – former CEO, Grey Advertising
— John Chapple – CEO, Nextel Partners
— Tom Freston – former president, Viacom
— Jaynie Studenmund – Former CEO, eHarmony