Microsoft's Hardball with Yahoo Violates Rule Number One

One of the unwritten rules of technology takeovers is that hostile takeovers are fraught with peril. When a company's value is its intellectual capital and that capital walks out the door at the end of each workday, taking a heavy-handed approach to acquisition seems wrong. In any case, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer

Eric LundquistOne of the unwritten rules of technology takeovers is that hostile takeovers are fraught with peril. When a company's value is its intellectual capital and that capital walks out the door at the end of each workday, taking a heavy-handed approach to acquisition seems wrong.

In any case, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer has now put Yahoo on a three-week deadline. Yahoo seems to be responding by saying they will talk--but they'd like to see a bigger bag of money on the table.

It is tough to see how this open-acquisition warfare has any big upside--except for the bloggers getting page views by tracking the blow-by-blow prizefight.