Ballmer says Yahoo deal would be better 'sooner than later'

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer again voiced support for purchasing Yahoo or its search business, hinting in a published report that a deal between the two companies may be reached before the end of the year. Ballmer also reiterated that Microsoft can fight Google on its own.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal after the appointment of former Yahoo executive Qi Lu to run its online services group (OSG), Ballmer said that a search deal "makes great sense" for Microsoft and Yahoo, but would be more advantageous for both companies if struck soon.

However, Ballmer also told the Journal that Microsoft and Yahoo are not currently in talks about a deal, but also said he would not admit publicly even if they were.

Will Microsoft ever buy Yahoo? That's a million dollar question Ballmer only can answer for now!

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