Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz told columnist Kara Swisher at the D: All Things Digital conference in California that she would consider selling Yahoo's search apparatus, or even the company itself, to Microsoft in exchange for a suitably massive amount of money. Yahoo has been in reported discussions with Microsoft over a possible partnership as both companies battle with Google for the online core search market.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz suggested during a
May 27 interview at the seventh annual D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad,
Calif., that she would sell Yahoo's search
apparatus to Microsoft in exchange for a massive amount of cold, hard
In an interview with technology columnist Kara Swisher, Bartz said that
Yahoo would sell its search to Microsoft "if there's boatloads of money
and the right technology involved."
When asked whether Bartz would sell Yahoo in its entirety to Microsoft, the CEO
replied, "They'd have to have biiiiig
boatloads of money,"
according to a transcript. Talks between the two companies are apparently
Bartz also added that when initially approached by then-CEO
Jerry Yang to gauge her interest in running the company, Bartz turned him down.
Only when Yang reattempted, using a hand-drawn Yahoo org chart, was Bartz's
"He drew arrows everywhere. It looked like a Dilbert cartoon,"
Bartz related to Swisher. "It needed some structure, and I'm actually
quite good at that ... so I took the job."
In 2008, Yahoo under Yang repelled a takeover bid by Microsoft that damaged
the search engine giant's stock and eventually contributed to Yang's
leaving the company
. Since then, however, Bartz has engaged Microsoft CEO
Steve Ballmer on a number of issues, including a possible partnership.
According to reports, such a partnership could potentially involve Microsoft
taking charge of Yahoo's search-advertising business, while Yahoo would run the
collective display advertising business. Both Microsoft and Yahoo have publicly
refused to comment on any talks, with
Bartz saying in March 2009 that they were being conducted
Microsoft and Yahoo both find themselves in fierce competition against
Google, which according to research company ComScore controlled 63.7 percent of
the core search market in March 2009, followed by Yahoo with 20.5 percent and
Microsoft with 8.3 percent.
For its part, Microsoft reportedly will roll out a new search engine this
week. Code-named Kumo, the new engine may be released under the name
In a bid to seize a larger portion of search-engine market share, Yahoo has
rolled out a number of new products and enhancements to its core search
apparatus, including boosting SearchMonkey
with video, game and slide integration into search results
. Its applications
such as Friends on Fire, based
on Yahoo's Fire Eagle geolocation platform
, are also designed to bring more
functionality to the company's offerings.