Microsoft: 'No interest' in pursuing Yahoo deal

Despite Apple's share price dropping well below half of what Microsoft offered several months ago, the software giant says it isn't interested.

Microsoft said Thursday it is not pursuing an acquisition of Yahoo, despite public comments by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Thursday suggesting a deal between the two companies might still be on the table.

Microsoft's position on Yahoo hasn't changed and it has "no interest in acquiring Yahoo," the company said in an e-mailed statement.

"There are no discussions between the companies," Microsoft said.

The statement came after Bloomberg.com and other news outlets quoted Ballmer as saying that buying Yahoo would still make economic sense for shareholders of both companies. The comments were made at a Gartner conference in Orlando, Thursday, according to published reports.

Microsoft and Yahoo spent months trying to hammer out an acquisition earlier this year after Microsoft offered US$44.6 billion for Yahoo on Feb. 1. Microsoft was pursuing the company in its quest to compete with Google in online advertising. Microsoft eventually walked away from the bid in May.

The possibility that a deal with Microsoft could still be on the table sent Yahoo's shares up Thursday in a volatile US stock market. Yahoo (YHOO) shares jumped after Ballmer's comments, before falling later in the day. On Thursday afternoon Eastern time, Yahoo shares were still up 10 percent from the opening price of $11.82, hovering at around $13.00.

Microsoft (MSFT) shares also went up slightly after Ballmer's comments, but then dropped again to hover around their opening price of $22.97 Thursday afternoon.

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