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Is Carl Icahn Just a Pawn in Microsoft’s Pursuit of Yahoo?

billiebohope.jpgAt the rate this is going we may have to move on to soap opera metaphors. As you may recall all the buzz this week-end was about the “stupid” takeover deal Carl Icahn and Microsoft presented Yahoo with (go here for a refresher), which they immediately, and loudly, turned down. However, some people are now wondering whether Microsoft head Steve Ballmer is actually intentionally playing stupid and using Icahn as a (unknowing?) pawn in his larger takeover game. Says the NYPost:

Sources close to the Microsoft-Yahoo deal talks, as well as some Yahoo shareholders, believe Ballmer is intentionally making offers that he knows Yahoo will reject — and using Carl Icahn to do it — as part of his longer-term plan to either buy Yahoo on the cheap or permanently hobble it as a competitor.
Crafty! Meanwhile, Icahn is crying foul on Yahoo’s version of the deal saying they mischaracterized it to the press and that it “did not include changes to Yahoo’s governance.” Yahoo says that’s just cause they turned it down before they got that far on the list of requirements. Like sands through the hourglass…

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