Microsoft still sees potential in Yahoo partnership

COLOGNE, Germany Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:15am EDT

A Yahoo! sign is seen in New York's Times Square November 18, 2008. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A Yahoo! sign is seen in New York's Times Square November 18, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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COLOGNE, Germany (Reuters) - U.S. software company Microsoft still sees value in a potential partnership with Yahoo even though it is no longer wants to buy it, chief executive Steve Ballmer said on Friday.

"I have said many times that we no longer are interested in acquiring Yahoo, but we'd see the potential to create real value by partnering with Yahoo," he said at an industry event in Germany.

"I have said many times that when the time is right I'm sure we will have such discussions and I've said many times I'm not going to tell you when the time is right."

Technology blog All Things Digital reported this month the chief executives of Microsoft and Yahoo had met to discuss potential partnerships between the companies' Internet search and advertising operations. At the time, both companies declined to comment on the report.

Earlier this week, Ballmer said Microsoft was not interested in buying a hardware company following Oracle Corp's proposed takeover of Sun Microsystems.

Ballmer, speaking a day after Microsoft said third-quarter profit fell 32 percent, said integrating those two companies would be "very tough" given "a lot of overlap."

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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