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Jerry Yang, The 40-Year-Old Virgin

The only man in the industry to have both Microsoft and Google, both potential partners, walk out on him

Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang’s signal distinction right now is being the only man in the industry to have both Microsoft and Google, both potential partners, walk out on him – and in the space of only six months. That’s gotta be some kind of record.

Jerry, who can’t seem to get into bed with anyone, blames the United States Department of Justice and its shotgun for running off Google.

The government “does not understand our industry,” he told a Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco Wednesday a few hours after his knight bolted.

Well, Jerry, of course, has had his straw in Eric Schmidt’s “No Regulatory Issue Here” Kool-Aid and, failing a webinar on antitrust, can’t quite get his head around the fact that it would be the same if they were talking about chewing gum.

Jerry also has a limited play book so he told the conference – it was one of those one-on-one interviews on the stage – that “The best thing for Microsoft to do is buy Yahoo.”

“At the right price, whatever that price is.”

Evidently Jerry hasn’t googled Steve Ballmer’s phone number or anything but this observation kept Yahoo stock from crashing through the floor although the smart money discounts the possibility of Microsoft ever acquiring Yahoo outright and figures Microsoft will wait for the economic tidal wave to wash over everybody before bidding again for Yahoo’s search business – which Jerry now suggests he’s “open-minded” about selling, having rejected the idea a few months ago.

Speculators have also thought that Microsoft might wait for Yahoo to buy AOL and then do a deal even if Yahoo and AOL looks increasingly remote.

Microsoft, which offered $47.5 billion for the joint, has repeatedly maintained that it’s snared its finger on the barbed Yahoo fish hook too often to be interested anymore. Now maybe if Jerry stepped down…

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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