Yahoo open to sale if price is right [Update]

The surprise and abrupt firing of Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz on Monday (over the phone, no less) is still sending shock waves in the tech industry in particular and the business world in general. Bartz was brought in to lead Yahoo back in January 2009 after Yahoo failed to reach an agreement to sell the company to Microsoft. Now an unnamed Yahoo representative seems to have confirmed that the company could be putting a "For Sale" sign up on its virtual lawn if it gets a good offer.

The Wall Street Journal (paid registration required) reports that the company spokesperson said, "Yahoo is open to selling itself to the right bidder." However another story from the New York Times quotes another source as saying that such a sale is already a "non-starter". It adds that Yahoo could still sell parts of its business, specifically its Asian-owned properties as well as some of its communication subsidiaries.

One of the problems with an all out sale for Yahoo is that the company is still pretty big in terms of its market value. At the moment Yahoo is worth about $16 billion which could keep even large companies such as Google, Microsoft and Apple from being interested in purchasing Yahoo. Back in 2008, Microsoft tried and failed to buy Yahoo for $45 billion, in part because Yahoo's co-founder and then CEO Jerry Yang didn't want to sell off the company to one of its biggest rivals. In the end Microsoft most likely was happy the deal ultimately didn't go through as the economy crashed later that year and took Yahoo's stock price down with it.

Update: AllthingsD.com reports that Yahoo's Jerry Yang told employees today that the company is not up for sale and that it is currently searching for a new CEO to replace Bartz. He also said Yahoo was aiming to increase its revenue and profit numbers but gave no specifics on how the company plans to do that.

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