Last Updated: May 1, 2008: 5:04 PM EDT
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Microsoft said to be nearing Yahoo decision

Blog: Ballmer tells employees at scheduled meeting that announcement on whether to proceed with bid coming 'in a very short order.'

By Yi-Wyn Yen, reporter

(Fortune) -- -- Microsoft will report on its $44.6 billion attempt to take over Yahoo "in a very short order," CEO Steve Ballmer said during a scheduled town hall meeting with employees Thursday, according to a transcript obtained by a financial blog.

The software maker is deciding whether to launch a proxy fight to oust Yahoo's board, walk away from the proposed deal, or increase its cash-and-stock offer originally valued at $31 a share.

It's been five days since the expiration of Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500)'s deadline for Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) to accept its buyout offer. So far, Microsoft - which said it would provide an update this week - has not indicated what it plans to do next.

At the company's Redmond, Wash., headquarters, Ballmer told employees, "I got nothing to say today. We've got basically the three big options in front of us," according to the transcript of the meeting obtained by Silicon Alley Insider.

Microsoft reportedly held a board meeting Wednesday to discuss how it should proceed, but has yet to make an announcement. A Microsoft spokesman said the company does not comment on its board meetings.

Microsoft has mulled offering more to Yahoo, which has repeatedly said the deal significantly undervalues the Internet portal. The bid is currently valued at slightly over $29 a share based on Microsoft's share price Wednesday.

Several news outlets have reported that Microsoft was willing to offer $32 or $33 per share, but that Yahoo still wants more. Yahoo opened at $27.70 Thursday.

"We're interested in paying for [Yahoo] at some level, and beyond that level we're not willing to pay for it," Ballmer said in the transcript. "I know exactly what I think Yahoo is worth and I won't go a dime above."  To top of page

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