Microsoft offers to buy Yahoo! for $45B

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Microsoft has offered to buy Yahoo! for $44 billion, or $31 per share. Right now, Yahoo! trades for $19.18, so the $31 price tag (a 62 percent premium) must look very tempting to Yahoo! shareholders, especially given the company’s lackluster performance lately.

In a letter to Yahoo!’s board of directors, Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer said the two companies should become one in order to better take on Google. “Today this market is increasingly dominated by one player. Together, Microsoft and Yahoo! can offer a competitive choice while better fulfilling the needs of customers and partners.” (TechCrunch has posted the entire letter.)

Good, bad, who cares? The Negative Neds on MSNBC are already questioning the merger, kindly reminding viewers that AOL TimeWarner was a bust.

I’m sure this will be developing all day, which is good news for us because Friday is usually an awfully boring day. Not today.

Microsoft Makes Unexpected $44.6B Offer for Internet Icon Yahoo [AP/Yahoo! Finance via Drudge]

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