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MicrosoftのYahoo検索事業買収提案をYahooが即座に拒否した後、二社間の公開「言った言わない」戦争のさなか、Microsoftが自社の言い分を発表した。

Microsoftによると、YahooのRoy Bostock会長は、投資家のCarl Icahnと話した後、MicrosoftのCEO Steve Ballmerにすり寄って来て、保証条件が良くなれば検索のみの契約を復活できることを示したということらしい。(そう、それでいいんだ)。Microsoftは、「巨額の収益保証とTACレートの値上げ、株式投資およびYahoo!が10年を超えて契約延長できるオプション」を新たに提案した。

交渉は決裂し、理由のひとつはYahooが24時間以内に決断しなければならないと思い込んだからだという。Microsoftは、24時間の期限を設けたことを否定している。(Carl Icahnかも?) 何が起きたにせよ、電話のやりとりがすれ違う中で、何らかの行き違いがあったようにみえる。しかし、 三者間の交渉が進んでいる状態で、果たして何が期待できるというのだろう。

Microsoftの声明文は以下のとおり(原文)

Microsoft Sets the Record Straight

REDMOND, Wash. – July 14, 2008 – On the evening of July 12, Yahoo! Inc. released a statement relating to recent discussions involving Yahoo!, Microsoft Corporation, and Carl Icahn. Microsoft believes the statement contains inaccuracies that need to be corrected. Among other things, the enhanced proposal for an alternate search transaction that we submitted late Friday was submitted at the request of Yahoo! Chairman Roy Bostock as a result of apparent attempts by Mr. Icahn to have Microsoft and Yahoo! engage on a search transaction on terms Mr. Icahn believed Microsoft would be willing to accept and which Microsoft understands Mr. Icahn had discussed with Yahoo!.

Specifically, on Thursday afternoon, July 10, Mr. Bostock called Steve Ballmer’s office to arrange a call. On that subsequent call, Mr. Bostock told Mr. Ballmer that “with substantial guarantees on the table and an increase in the TAC (traffic acquisition cost) rate, there are the pillars of a search only deal to be done.” Mr. Bostock encouraged Mr. Ballmer to submit a new proposal to Yahoo! for a search only deal reflecting these terms.

After considering Yahoo’s request and taking into account Yahoo’s previous feedback about our prior search proposal, Microsoft determined late Friday to propose an enhanced search transaction. This proposal included significant revenue guarantees, higher TAC rates, an equity investment and an option for Yahoo! to extend the agreement over a 10 year period.

Microsoft’s proposal did not include changes to Yahoo’s governance.

At the time Microsoft submitted its enhanced proposal, Microsoft asked that Yahoo! confirm whether it would agree that the enhancements were sufficient to form the basis for the parties to engage in negotiations over the weekend on a letter of intent and more detailed term sheets. This discussion has been mischaracterized as a take it or leave it ultimatum, rather than a timetable in order to move forward to intensive negotiations. Yahoo! informed Microsoft on Saturday that it had rejected the proposal.

[原文へ]

(翻訳:Nob Takahashi)