Home What's Brewing? Microsoft’s Last Chance to Shout Yahoo!?

Microsoft’s Last Chance to Shout Yahoo!?

In a Wall Street Journal interview on Friday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and new online services chief Qi Lu, talk about the possibility of a search deal with Yahoo.

Ballmer expressed his belief that a search deal wth Yahoo! would provide Microsoft with “critical mass in the advertising marketplace.”

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Some excerpts:

WSJ: Steve, should a Yahoo search deal come to pass with Microsoft, would Qi’s hiring make it easier for Microsoft to integrate whatever assets it acquired from Yahoo?

Mr. Ballmer: I think a search deal makes great sense for Microsoft, and Yahoo, and I think I’ve been very open about that. That’s as true with Qi joining us as it was before Qi joined us. Obviously the logistics of any such integration…can only be simpler by having somebody who will know both sides. But, that was not a factor in hiring Qi.

WSJ: Do you feel like you’re in a situation where you can go slow with regards to Yahoo and any conversations, or do you need to move quickly?

Mr. Ballmer: We’re fully prepared to compete without any partnership with Yahoo. We don’t need to act. Would it be advantageous for both of us to make a deal? Look, the fundamental basis for doing the search deal with Yahoo has to do with critical mass in the advertising marketplace. It doesn’t have to do with technology, or any of these other things, it really is a market phenomenon… We’d have higher monetization levels possible in front of us because there would be more people bidding on more key words. Most importantly, Google would have perhaps a real credible competitor sooner.

I think good ideas are usually better done quickly than slowly, so it would probably be better for both us, and certainly for Yahoo, if we were to do it sooner than later. But at the end of the day, that would have be something Yahoo would be as interested in as I have expressed our interest.”

Lu, who was appointed to his new post on Thursday said he was impressed by the amount of resources Microsoft was investing in its online business. [24×7]

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