Microsoft, Yahoo yet to negotiate

Top executives at Microsoft and Yahoo haven't held discussions to break an impasse that threatens to turn Microsoft's three month-old takeover bid into a brawl, an Associated Press report said.

Not even a key weekend deadline brought the two sides together, according to Brad Smith, software maker Microsoft's general counsel.

Responding to a question from The Associated Press, Smith said no meetings have been scheduled among executives at Microsoft and Yahoo.

The lack of communication is the latest sign of a chasm that has developed since Microsoft CEO's Steve Ballmer lashed out at Yahoo's board in an letter on 5 April, the report said.

In that missive, Ballmer set deadline of 26 April for Yahoo to accept his company's cash-and-stock offer, which was worth €27.1 billion (US$42.2 billion).

Yahoo let the deadline lapse without elaborating on its board's unanimous opinion that it is worth more.

Microsoft is expected to disclose its response to Yahoo's defiance this week. Smith declined to comment on Microsoft's next measures.

Most analysts believe Microsoft wants Yahoo badly enough to attempt a hostile takeover, a risky process that would probably include a mud slinging campaign to replace Yahoo's ten directors with board members more receptive to a deal.

The outcome of the so-called proxy contest probably wouldn't be settled until Yahoo's annual meeting, which might not be held until July.