Yahoo! chief executive Carol Bartz played down speculation on Wednesday of an Internet search tie-up with Microsoft saying the Web pioneer did not need to make a deal with the software giant.
“Yahoo! doesn’t have to do anything with Microsoft about anything,” Bartz said at a conference in New York of technology analysts.
“Yahoo! actually has a bright, bright future, probably cleaner and simpler future without thinking there’s any Microsoft connection,” she said. “We’d be better off if we’d never heard the word Microsoft.
“Forget about the Microsoft stuff, it’s honestly not that relevant,” she said.
Microsoft tried last year to buy Yahoo! for 47.5 billion dollars in a vain effort to merge online resources to better battle Google, which rules more than 60 per cent of the lucrative US online search market.
Yahoo!’s share of the market is about 20 per cent and Microsoft trails with slightly more than eight per cent, according to April figures from industry tracking firms.
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has repeatedly expressed interest in a deal with Yahoo! but Bartz said on Wednesday that too much attention was being paid to the issue and Yahoo! was doing fine on its own.
“The whole fanatical look at this one area of our business is just overdone,” she said. “Our 20 per cent share (of search) is statistically relevant.
“What’s really necessary is that we continue to grow our audience.
Bartz, who replaced Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang as chief executive in January, also said she was open to buying “small innovative” companies “for technology or good content.”
Bartz’s comments came just days after Microsoft launched a new search engine, Bing, in a bid to carve out a larger share of the search market.