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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

April 10, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Microsoft and Yahoo apparently talking again

With the departure of Ben Romano from The Times — we’ll miss him — activity here has been reduced to something slower than a crawl.

But this morning, we wake up to blogger Kara Swisher with an exclusive: Microsoft and Yahoo CEOs are talking about a search and advertising partnership. The Wall Street Journal followed up on the report. We’ve stopped counting the number of times this subject has come up over the past 14-plus months.

Swisher, citing the usual sources “with knowledge about the situation,” said the discussions began in the past several weeks and included a “face-to-face” meeting last week.

A deal between the two companies has been a non-starter since Microsoft made an acquisition offer in early 2008. Former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang famously turned down a $33 a share offer and Microsoft walked away from the deal.

Since that time, Ballmer has repeatedly said Microsoft is not interested in acquiring Yahoo any longer, but is more than open to some kind of deal involving a search and advertising partnership.

Bartz took over as CEO in January this year and, while acknowledging that “everything is on the table” regarding a deal, she clearly left the impression it wasn’t a foregone conclusion.

Update, 10:56 a.m.: As expected, Microsoft declined comment on the report.

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