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Icahn Helps Microsoft Buy Yahoo

Carl Icahn loves to make mischief. He buys just enough stock to have leverage, then forces large companies to do his bidding, pocketing billions in the process.

Now, sitting on 3.6 percent of Yahoo's shares, Icahn is reportedly looking to ditch the board of directors for a group that's more amenable to a Microsoft bid. Icahn likely bought at least a portion of Yahoo stock after it fell in the wake of the failed Microsoft takeover. A new bid would, by definition, be a premium over the current price -- and Icahn keeps the difference.

Here's the rub: Microsoft just publicly said it's no longer interested in Yahoo and plans to attack the Internet alone. Can Microsoft change its tune just because Icahn forms a friendly board? If that were to happen, then all those words about independence from Gates and Ballmer have no meaning. That doesn't sound like the Bill and Steve that I know.

Posted by Doug Barney on May 14, 2008


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