DG News Service - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer feels intensely fortunate that his company's US$44 billion bid for Yahoo back in 2008 never materialized.
"Sometimes you're lucky," he said with a smile at Web 2.0 Summit, responding to a question from conference co-chair John Battelle.
Careful not to offend his search market partner, Ballmer put his comment in context, saying that any CEO would feel grateful for not making a major acquisition in the months prior to the global financial collapse that started in the second half of 2008.
"We would have been closing [the Yahoo deal right after] Lehman Brothers," Ballmer said, referring to the historical collapse of one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. Microsoft made its offer for Yahoo in early 2008 and withdrew it several months later.
Of course, Yahoo has continued to struggle since 2008, when Microsoft made its acquisition bid, and this year Yahoo's fortunes have taken a more steep downturn. CEO Carol Bartz was fired last month, and this week the company announced that CTO Raymie Stata has been replaced, as the company struggles to emerge from years-long financial and technology funk.
Although Ballmer made a point of saying that "there are a lot of great things about Yahoo" and that he's very satisfied with Yahoo as a search partner, it's clear that Yahoo would be worth much less than what Microsoft offered for it in 2008.
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