Bartz dismisses Yahoo/Microsoft search tie-up

LONDON - Yahoo chief executive Carol Bartz has distanced the company from speculation about a search partnership with Microsoft, insisting the company does not need to work with the software behemoth.

Yahoo: chief executive dismisses search link with Microsoft
Yahoo: chief executive dismisses search link with Microsoft

Speaking at the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch 2009 US Technology Conference, Bartz said the potential savings from a search deal with Microsoft could be as high as $700 million.

But, she insisted, a deal was not necessary: "Yahoo doesn't have to do anything with Microsoft about anything."

She went on: "Yahoo actually has a bright, bright future, probably a cleaner and simpler future without thinking there's any Microsoft connection. We'd be better off if we'd never heard the word Microsoft.

Last year, Microsoft made repeated attempts to acquire Yahoo. It made an initial proposal in January 2008 and followed up with a $44.6bn takeover offer. But Microsoft met stiff resistance from Yahoo, which subsequently unveiled a string of initiatives aimed at convincing shareholders of the merit of resisting Microsoft ownership.

Microsoft this week launched Bing, its new search engine, which it hopes will enhance its position in the search market. But Bartz said Yahoo did not need Bing to enhance its own market position.

"What's really necessary is that we continue to grow our audience," she said.

"I don't know if Bing means a whole lot to Yahoo. I think people will go to Bing because they are curious. I think they will get some uplift, but people will keep their same habits."

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