Microsoft isn't raising Yahoo bid-Gates

Microsoft is not privately haggling with Yahoo over the software maker's rejected $31-per-share buyout offer for the slumping internet pioneer, Bill Gates, quoted by an Associated Press report in an interview, said.

'We sent them a letter and said we think that's a fair offer. There's nothing that's gone on other than us stating that we think it's a fair offer,' the Microsoft chairman said. 'They should take a hard look at it.'

Microsoft made an unsolicited offer to buy Yahoo Inc. just over two weeks ago. At the time, the deal was valued at $44.6 billion, but since then, Microsoft's share price has tumbled 12.8 %, pushing the value of the cash-and-stock offer closer to $41 billion, the Associated Press report said.

Yahoo spurned the offer and said it 'substantially undervalues' the company's assets, the report added.

The web portal business was said to be in talks late last week with News Corp. about a complex deal to push its market value toward $50 billion. Yahoo also was reportedly discussing an advertising partnership with Google.

Most analysts believe Microsoft will do whatever it takes to buy Yahoo. Redmond-based Microsoft has invested heavily in honing its own search engine and advertising technology, but neither it nor Yahoo have helped close the gap with Google, which dominates Microsoft and Yahoo in US search queries and related advertising revenue, the report said.

Yahoo is believed to want at least $40 per share, but Microsoft has held firm so far, calling its original bid 'full and fair,' the report further said.