As rumors circulate about Microsoft taking a stake in social-networking website Facebook (full story), the New York Post reports the company is also considering "going public with the takeover proposal it made for Yahoo! earlier this year in an attempt to prod shareholders to force management to the bargaining table." Sources say Microsoft wants to do a deal, but after having purchased aQuantive earlier this year for $6 billion (full story), it doesn't have the appetite to do another two multi-billion dollar deals, so its either Facebook or Yahoo, but not both. Sources also say that Microsoft thinks the Facebook negotiations are "much further along" than does Facebook, but cautioned the recent talks could easily fall apart, "which is one reason why Microsoft hasn't abandoned going public with its Yahoo offer." Facebook would give Microsoft an entry into fast-growing social networking; a weak spot for the software giant. It would also allow Microsoft to use its technology unencumbered. A Yahoo deal, meanwhile, would likely raise questions of whose technology to keep and whose to jettison, the Post says.
Sources: NY Post
Commentary: Microsoft Might Take Stake in Facebook - WSJ • Yahoo Could Fetch $53B from Microsoft -- Bear Analyst • The Microsoft -Buying- Yahoo Rumor Still Makes No Sense
Stocks/ETFs to watch: MSFT, YHOO
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