Yahoo! to Microsoft: Baby, Don't Go

OK, just in case you thought it was over -- it isn't. Like many on-again, off-again relationships, now Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) says it's willing to talk things out with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) .

Come to think of it, sometimes couples like this can be really annoying.

In a Reuters interview, head Yahooligan Jerry Yang said he has "mixed feelings" about how things went down with Microsoft. Well, no wonder -- Yahoo!'s stock, as expected, tanked by nearly 15% yesterday. It seems many shareholders are understandably irritated, incensed, infuriated, and other unpleasant emotions that start with the letter "i."

Reuters also quoted Yang as saying, "[Microsoft] started it and then they walked away." Microsoft "started it"? I'm not sure that statement inspires confidence in the recent proceedings, since it sounds like something overheard at grade-school recess.

My Foolish colleague Rick Munarriz doesn't seem to think this saga is over yet. One thing haunts me, though: It's hard to take on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) when you're living a soap opera, isn't it? And that's saying nothing of how both companies would have to manage the integration of such a massive deal, if it comes to pass. I doubt Google could have hoped for such a great -- and seemingly endless -- moment of competitive distraction.

News to go
Mergers and acquisitions remain hot topics of conversation. Yesterday, speculation bubbled that Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) might also do the "in" thing and walk away from its planned acquisition of beleaguered Countrywide Financial (NYSE: CFC  ) . Last night, Bank of America said it's sticking by its plan, though. The Magic 8-Ball, when consulted on the wisdom of B of A's constancy, said, "Ask again later."

Meanwhile, word on the wire also hints that Deutsche Telekom may have its acquisitive eye on beleaguered telecom company Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S  ) , or that Sprint Nextel may spin off the Nextel portion of its business. Speaking of big mergers and acquisitions, isn't Sprint Nextel itself a testament to how "successful" (ahem) massive hookups can be? The deal seemed to have promise back in 2005, but boy, talk about a dropped call

There's more pain and less gain in the financial sector today -- Switzerland's UBS (NYSE: UBS  ) plans to sell $15 billion in subprime mortgage assets to Blackrock.  In addition, it will cut about 5,500 jobs over the next year or so. I guess that's what happens when you report a first-quarter loss of nearly $11 billion, with a whopping $19 billion in writedowns. Same old, same old; last quarter, UBS shared similarly sobering tidings.

Unlike the lion's share of its corporate peers, AFLAC has given shareholders the non-binding privilege of voting on executives' pay. (It's just a say in the matter, not veto power -- yet many companies seem to think such a concept is heresy.) Well, the masses have voted, and 93% of shareholders gave AFLAC's compensation plan the thumbs-up. Now, that wasn't so hard, now was it?

So how does that $120-per-barrel oil sound? I know, not fun. Thanks for joining me for breakfast today, and I hope to see you back here tomorrow. Have a great and Foolish day!

Microsoft and Sprint are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. AFLAC is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Bank of America is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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