BUSINESS
05/13/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Yahoo CEO: Microsoft Was Stubborn

People involved in relationships that end abruptly often have grossly conflicting accounts of what went wrong. On Monday, Jerry Yang gave his version.

In an interview, Mr. Yang, Yahoo's co-founder and chief executive, addressed Microsoft's surprise $44.6 billion bid to buy his company and the three-month corporate saga that ensued.

He said he was open to selling Yahoo to Microsoft all along, but that Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, and his dealmakers ultimately declined to negotiate and withdrew their proposal on Saturday with little explanation.

"They chose to walk away after we put a price on the table, and they didn't want to negotiate," Mr. Yang said. "From my perspective, we were open all along to selling to Microsoft. We just feel Yahoo, either standalone or with Microsoft, is worth more than what they put on the table."

Mr. Yang's account conflicts with that of Microsoft's advisors and executives. They have said that they received no counteroffer from Yahoo for three months, after Microsoft's deadline to consummate the deal had expired. They also say that Mr. Yang and his board settled on a price of $37 a share and ultimately refused to budge.

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