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Thursday, November 13 12:00 AM ET

Microsoft-Yahoo Deal Hinges on Yang Humiliation

By Brian Briggs

Redmond, WA – It wasn't long ago that Microsoft declared their bid for Yahoo dead, but a plea from Jerry Yang to Microsoft and renewed interest by Steve Ballmer have reopened the possibilities of a deal.

Yahoo's stock has dropped to nearly a third of the offer price from a few months ago putting Microsoft in the driver's seat for the negotiations and Steve Ballmer is using that to his advantage.

At a press conference at Microsoft headquarters on Wednesday Ballmer said, "There are a few terms that must be accepted by Yahoo if this deal is to go through.  These terms are nonnegotiable.  First, Mr. Yang must appear on MSNBC's Mad Money and let Jim Cramer berate him for a full hour.   Second, Mr. Yang must have "Ballmer is King" tattooed on his forehead. Lastly, Jerry must be my personal slave for life like on that episode of The Brady Bunch. I always loved that one."

A desperate Yang appeared amenable to the terms of the deal.  "I'll do whatever it takes to get a deal done," said Yang. "Tattoos, abnormal sexual fetishes, murder for hire, I'll do anything.  I mean I couldn't embarrass myself any more than I've already done, could I?"

Yang said even the clause about a Super Bowl commercial featuring him kissing the feet of Bill Gates while a rhino poops on his head "isn't going too far."

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Employees interviewed at Yahoo said they are willing to endure humiliation as well to get a deal done, including being seen with a Zune and using Vista instead of OS X.

Ballmer said Yahoo would be a bargain at its current valuation of almost $150 and he might just put the purchase on his corporate American Express card.

Together Yahoo and Microsoft would control 11% of the search market which when added with the 89% market share Microsoft has in operating systems adds up to 100%.

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