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Quick Hits: Yahoo Accuses Microsoft, Icahn of Shotgun Wedding


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines


If you can't wait for the strategic mudslinging that's sure to accompany November's presidential election, you're in luck. Rhetoric with an agenda came early this year.

In a move any spin doctor would recognize, Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Jerry Yang and Chairman Roy Bostock sent a letter to shareholders bashing both Microsoft (MSFT) and Carl Icahn, whose proxy battle against Yang and his board is to be decided on August 1st.

The letter -- filled with strong language and a whole lot of boldface and underlining -- sounds like nothing so much as a post-breakup email from an extremely bitter ex. Calling Microsoft and Icahn an "odd couple" with "keenly different agendas," Yang and company dismiss their alliance as a "marriage of convenience" that will never work.

Poor jilted Yahoo: It was ready and willing to walk down the aisle with Microsoft (or so the letter claims), but "Microsoft's flip-flops and inconsistencies" forced them to conclude that "Microsoft was never fully committed" to Yahoo and is unable to "decide what is and isn't strategically important."

Who knew that the folks in Redmond were commitment-phobic?

The letter also challenges Icahn's ability to negotiate a competitive sale with Microsoft, since he's already publicly stated that he wants to sell Yahoo to them.

Apparently Icahn, unlike Yang, hasn't read The Rules, or mastered the fine art of playing hard to get.

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