When Microsoft said it withdrew
its offer to buy Yahoo earlier this month, many people figured the acquisition dance was far from over - that the withdrawal and the subsequent letter from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to his Yahoo counterpart were nothing more than a move in an ongoing strategic battle. It appears those people were right, as Microsoft just issued a statement regarding Yahoo
I'm copying the statement word-by-word below, since it more or less says everything anyway.
In light of developments since the withdrawal of the Microsoft proposal to acquire Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft announced that it is continuing to explore and pursue its alternatives to improve and expand its online services and advertising business. Microsoft is considering and has raised with Yahoo! an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo! but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo! Microsoft is not proposing to make a new bid to acquire all of Yahoo! at this time, but reserves the right to reconsider that alternative depending on future developments and discussions that may take place with Yahoo! or discussions with shareholders of Yahoo! or Microsoft or with other third parties.
There of course can be no assurance that any transaction will result from these discussions.
I'm not educated enough in the field of business to understand what a "transaction" exactly means in this specific context - it might very well be that Microsoft is intentionally trying to come across as vague. My guess would be that Microsoft wants to try to approach Yahoo in a less aggressive fashion, speaking of a partial acquisition instead of a complete buyout - which would leave room for Yahoo to operate as a separate entity.
But my guess is as good as yours, so feel free to guess around in the comments.