Yahoo shares are hovering around $25 because investors hope major Yahoo shareholders can still force a deal with Microsoft at $33 per share or more. But at Google's annual shareholder meeting yesterday, cofounder Sergey Brin and CEO Eric Schmidt tried their best to destroy those hopes, amping up talk of a deal that would outsource Yahoo's search advertising to Google and make Yahoo unattractive to Microsoft. Brin said the deal is designed to keep Microsoft at bay. "[Yahoo was] under a hostile attack and we wanted to make sure they had as many options as possible," Brin said.
But Google only wants to give Yahoo so many options as long as there's even a remote possibility Microsoft will try to acquire the company. As soon as that threat's gone, expect word of "divided" Google executives worried about antitrust regulations to return — leaving Yahoo shareholders without a Google deal or a Microsoft deal. Just Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang's infinite wisdom.