Despite Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer saying earlier today that a deal to buy Yahoo would still “make sense economically,” Microsoft wants you to know that it has no intention of doing so. A couple of hours after Ballmer spoke at the Gartner ITXpo in Orlando, Fla., and Yahoo’s stock shot up 15 percent, Microsoft issued the following statement: “Our position hasn’t changed. Microsoft has no interest in acquiring Yahoo; there are no discussions between the companies.”
In an alternate universe that might settle things, but not here. Ballmer’s clearly interested, but isn’t going to overpay. At the Gartner event Ballmer also made fun of Yahoo for likely thinking it was still worth today what it was back in February, when Microsoft was negotiating to buy it. This morning, before Ballmer made his comments, Yahoo’s shares opened at $11.82, way below the $37 a share Yahoo thought it was worth in February. Since then, Yang hasn’t exactly been able to steer the company anywhere, not even into a deal with Google.