Microsoft Offers to Buy Yahoo! for $44.6 Billion

With Yahoo! having one of the biggest audiences on the Internet, Microsoft Corp. made an unsolicited offer to buy the recently troubled portal for about $44.6 billion, or $31 a share. Microsoft explored ways to partner in late 2006 and early 2007, however this idea was rejected by Yahoo!.

“While a commercial partnership may have made sense at one time, Microsoft believes that the only alternative now is the combination of Microsoft and Yahoo! that we are proposing,” the letter said. This proposal represents a compelling value realization event for your shareholders.”

Microsoft has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few to try to build both a search engine and an online advertising network to compete with Google. However, possibly combining Microsoft and Yahoo industry management experts are saying this would create huge management and cultural challenges.