Yahoo whinges bitterly about Microsoft bid

Yahoo has reiterated that it wants Microsoft off its back, telling federal regulators that the software giant's US$44 billion (£22.1 billion) unsolicited takeover bid was becoming a "distraction".

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Yahoo has reiterated that it wants Microsoft off its back, telling federal regulators that the software giant's US$44 billion (£22.1 billion) unsolicited takeover bid was becoming a "distraction".

Microsoft's proposal is creating "uncertainty" that might negatively affect its business, Yahoo complained in the annual report it filed this week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the report, the search firm explained that its board of directors unanimously decided that Microsoft's bid was not in the best interests of the company or its stockholders.

"The review and consideration of the Microsoft proposal (and any alternate proposals that may be made by other parties) have been, and may continue to be, a significant distraction for our management and employees and have required, and may continue to require, the expenditure of significant time and resources by us," Yahoo said in the report.

Yahoo said Microsoft's takeover bid has also created uncertainty for its employees that could affect the company's ability to retain key personnel and hire new ones. It believed Microsoft's proposal could also disrupt advertising and other partnership deals.

Yahoo and its board have been named in seven shareholder lawsuits over its decision not to accept Microsoft's offer. These lawsuits could become time-consuming and expensive, the company said. "These consequences, alone or in combination, may harm our business."

The company's stock price, which has been "volatile historically," may continue to be volatile regardless of the company's operating performance, it said.

"We further believe that, as a result of Microsoft's unsolicited acquisition proposal, and speculation concerning a potential acquisition, the future trading price of our common stock is likely to be volatile and could be subject to wide price fluctuations," according to the report.

"There can be no assurance whether a transaction will occur or at what price. If a transaction does not occur, or the market perceives a transaction as unlikely to happen, our stock price may decline." Yahoo also said anti-takeover provisions could make it more difficult for it to be acquired by a third-party.

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