Microsoft, Icahn attempt to depose Yahoo's board

In the 1976 British DJs were bereft when Queen's six minute Bohemian Rhapsody was no longer in the charts - it had been a staple for so very long. Technology journalists are going to feel the same about the final outcome of the Microsoft/Yahoo debacle because here we go again.

Yesterday Microsoft issued a statement saying it wanted to reopen talks to acquire either the search business or all of Yahoo, on the condition that the current board was replaced first.

The software company also acknowledged, for the first time, that it has been discussing its plans with billionaire shareholder and agitator Carl Icahn. He has campaigning to get rid of the board since it blocked the original Microsoft bid as he does not believe it was in shareholders' interests.

Should Icahn succeed in his campaign to get rid of the board - his big chance is looming, at Yahoo's general meeting that is to take place on 1 August - Microsoft wants his support.

And it looks like they've got it: Icahn has apparently written to shareholders saying that if they support his proposals for a new board, then negotiations with Microsoft will be reopened forthwith.

News of the behind the scenes action drove Yahoo's shares up almost 12%, to US$23.89: in May Microsoft's offer of US$33 per share was rejected.

Yahoo said it was open to negotiations, but argued that effectively placing Yahoo in Icahn's hands for sale to Microsoft at an unknown price would not be putting shareholders' interests first.