SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer may be experiencing a case of bidder’s remorse after making an unsolicited $42.3 billion offer to buy Yahoo Inc.
Speaking to a group of nearly 2,000 Microsoft enthusiasts at a technology conference in Seattle, Ballmer asked how many people use Yahoo as their primary Web search engine.
Only a handful of arms went up — fewer than for Microsoft’s Windows Live search. The overwhelming majority raised their hands for Google Inc, which Microsoft is seeking to challenge as an online advertising powerhouse.
After the tepid response for Yahoo’s search, Ballmer said jokingly: “Wow! We offered 31 bucks a share.”
Yahoo and Microsoft, which rank No. 2 and 3 in Web search respectively, are at a stand-off. Microsoft has said its $31 a share offer is fair, while Yahoo has said the cash-and-stock offer significantly undervalues the company.
Reporting by Daisuke Wakabayashi, editing by Richard Chang