In news of internet-shaking proportions, Microsoft has offered $44.6B for Yahoo.
In conference call Friday morning, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said, "This is a decision we have -- and I have -- thought long and hard about... We are confident it's the right path for Microsoft and Yahoo."
Right now, Yahoo is considering the offer, and google is shaking in their proverbial boots. If the deal goes down, Microsoft's move toward dominance of the search market on the net would move up a level.
As we're sure you've noticed, Google pretty much owns internet search, controlling nearly 60 percent of the U.S. market, and has been growing, despite concerted efforts by both second-place Yahoo and third-place Microsoft.
In a statement, Yahoo! said its board "will evaluate this proposal carefully and promptly in the context of Yahoo's strategic plans and pursue the best course of action to maximize long-term value for shareholders."
Yahoo!'s stock has slid to a four-year low this week, and Microsoft no doubt saw a bargain.
By combining, Microsoft and Yahoo would have a 33 percent share of the U.S. search market, according to the latest data from comScore Media Metrix.
Should Yahoo! accept the deal, regulatory agencies would need to approve it in both the United States and Europe, which is far from a done deal, judging by past legal difficulties regarding U.S. anti-trust regulations.
Yahoo.com: Microsoft Offers $44.6B for Yahoo