[速報]マイクロソフト、ヤフー買収から撤退

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トム・クルーズ公式サイト「TomCruise.com」が今更カウントダウン

Microsoftが間もなくヤフー買収から撤退した旨、発表する。Microsoftに近い筋からの情報によると、本日(米国時間5/3)行われた両社およびアドバイザー間の話し合いが価格その他条件で合意に至らず、交渉は物別れに終わった。

最後の会議は今日レッドモンドのマイクロソフト本社で行われ、Yahooからはジェリー・ヤンとデイビッド・ファイロ、マイクロソフトからはKevin Johnsonスティーブ・バルマーが出席した。報道によると、会議でYahooは1株$37が承認できる最低ラインだと言い、Microsoftは1株$33まで吊り上げたという。ヤンとファイロは会議が終わるとすぐさまカリフォルニアに戻り、そこからヤンがバルマーと電話で話し合った。その段階でバルマーはオファーを取り下げた。

ほかにも最近両社の間で行われた交渉に絡む事実がいろいろ浮上してきた。ザッと時系列に並べてみよう。:

  • MicrosoftがYahooに買収完了まで3週間の猶予付きで書簡を送った4月5日まで両社の間では何一つ意味ある話し合いは行われていなかった。
  • 4月15日、両社幹部がオレゴン州ポートランドで会合を持ち、バリュエーションと統合の問題を話し合う。
  • 4月15日の会議後、両陣営はNDA(守秘義務契約)を取り交わし、Microsoftが4月5日付け書簡で指定した同月26日の期限が過ぎるまで交渉内容については一切口外しないことを確認。
  • 4月18日、MicrosoftとYahooのアドバイザー陣が電話会議。Yahooが1株$40が最低価格というシグナルを送る。
  • 4月29日、両社の間では何度も電話交渉が持たれた。Yahooはおそらく1株$40の条件は下げるのもやぶさかでないと語り、Microsoftが敵対的買収に転じたり交渉から降りたりせぬよう、要請したものと推測される。
  • 4月30日、両チームはカリフォルニアで会合を開く。Yahooは$38なら交渉成立だと語る。

Microsoftはこれが単なる両社間交渉の決裂ではない点をはっきりさせている。先の買収提示を撤回し、敵対的買収も行わないと話している。つまり買収からはきれいサッパリ手を引くということだ。

Update: プレスリリース(とりあえず英文):

Microsoft Withdraws Proposal to Acquire Yahoo!

REDMOND, Wash., May 3 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) today announced that it has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO).

“We continue to believe that our proposed acquisition made sense for Microsoft, Yahoo! and the market as a whole. Our goal in pursuing a combination with Yahoo! was to provide greater choice and innovation in the marketplace and create real value for our respective stockholders and employees,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft.

“Despite our best efforts, including raising our bid by roughly $5 billion, Yahoo! has not moved toward accepting our offer. After careful consideration, we believe the economics demanded by Yahoo! do not make sense for us, and it is in the best interests of Microsoft stockholders, employees and other stakeholders to withdraw our proposal,” said Ballmer.

“We have a talented team in place and a compelling plan to grow our business through innovative new services and strategic transactions with other business partners. While Yahoo! would have accelerated our strategy, I am confident that we can continue to move forward toward our goals,” Ballmer said.

“We are investing heavily in new tools and Web experiences, we have dramatically improved our search performance and advertiser satisfaction, and we will continue to build our scale through organic growth and partnerships,” said Kevin Johnson, Microsoft president for platforms and services.

Update: バルマーがヤンに送った書簡(とりあえず英文)

Below is the text of the letter from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Yahoo
CEO Jerry Yang.

May 3, 2008

Mr. Jerry Yang
CEO and Chief Yahoo
Yahoo! Inc.
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Dear Jerry:

After over three months, we have reached the conclusion of the process regarding a possible combination of Microsoft and Yahoo!.

I first want to convey my personal thanks to you, your management team, and Yahoo!’s Board of Directors for your consideration of our proposal. I appreciate the time and attention all of you have given to this matter, and I especially appreciate the time that you have invested personally. I feel that our discussions this week have been particularly useful, providing me for the first time with real clarity on what is and is not possible.

I am disappointed that Yahoo! has not moved towards accepting our offer. I first called you with our offer on January 31 because I believed that a combination of our two companies would have created real value for our respective shareholders and would have provided consumers, publishers, and advertisers with greater innovation and choice in the marketplace. Our
decision to offer a 62 percent premium at that time reflected the strength of these convictions.

In our conversations this week, we conveyed our willingness to raise our offer to $33.00 per share, reflecting again our belief in this collective opportunity. This increase would have added approximately another $5 billion of value to your shareholders, compared to the current value of our initial offer. It also would have reflected a premium of over 70 percent compared to the price at which your stock closed on January 31. Yet it has proven insufficient, as your final position insisted on
Microsoft paying yet another $5 billion or more, or at least another $4 per share above our $33.00 offer.

Also, after giving this week’s conversations further thought, it is clear to me that it is not sensible for Microsoft to take our offer directly to your shareholders. This approach would necessarily involve a protracted proxy contest and eventually an exchange offer. Our discussions with you have led us to conclude that, in the interim, you would take steps
that would make Yahoo! undesirable as an acquisition for Microsoft.

We regard with particular concern your apparent planning to respond to a “hostile” bid by pursuing a new arrangement that would involve or lead to the outsourcing to Google of key paid Internet search terms offered by Yahoo! today. In our view, such an arrangement with the dominant search provider would make an acquisition of Yahoo! undesirable to us for a number
of reasons:

— First, it would fundamentally undermine Yahoo!’s own strategy and
long-term viability by encouraging advertisers to use Google as opposed
to your Panama paid search system. This would also fragment your
search advertising and display advertising strategies and the ecosystem
surrounding them. This would undermine the reliance on your display
advertising business to fuel future growth.

— Given this, it would impair Yahoo’s ability to retain the talented
engineers working on advertising systems that are important to our
interest in a combination of our companies.

— In addition, it would raise a host of regulatory and legal problems
that no acquirer, including Microsoft, would want to inherit. Among
other things, this would consolidate market share with the
already-dominant paid search provider in a manner that would reduce
competition and choice in the marketplace.

— This would also effectively enable Google to set the prices for key
search terms on both their and your search platforms and, in the
process, raise prices charged to advertisers on Yahoo. In addition to
whatever resulting legal problems, this seems unwise from a business
perspective unless in fact one simply wishes to use this as a vehicle
to exit the paid search business in favor of Google.

— It could foreclose any chance of a combination with any other search
provider that is not already relying on Google’s search services.

Accordingly, your apparent plan to pursue such an arrangement in the event of a proxy contest or exchange offer leads me to the firm decision not to pursue such a path. Instead, I hereby formally withdraw Microsoft’s proposal to acquire Yahoo!.

We will move forward and will continue to innovate and grow our business at Microsoft with the talented team we have in place and potentially through strategic transactions with other business partners.

I still believe even today that our offer remains the only alternative put forward that provides your stockholders full and fair value for their shares. By failing to reach an agreement with us, you and your stockholders have left significant value on the table.

But clearly a deal is not to be.

Thank you again for the time we have spent together discussing this.

Sincerely yours,
/s/ Steven A. Ballmer

Steven A. Ballmer
Chief Executive Officer
Microsoft Corporation

Update: スティーブ・バルマーから全Microsoft社員に宛てたメール

See こちら(とりあえず英文)


Update: Yahooからの反応

Yahooも今日はなかなか正式声明のエンジンがかからない。が、Microsoftオファー撤退に関するプレスリリースがここに出た(とりあえず英文)

[原文へ]

(翻訳:satomi)