Times Online writes: "Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, moved quickly today to dismiss speculation that the software giant might still be interested in a takeover of Yahoo!, while leaving the door open on a more limited partnership.
"I'm sure there are still some opportunities for some kind of partnership around search," he told a business lunch in Sydney. But he left no doubt about the prospects of a full merger.
"We made an offer, we made another offer ... We moved on," he said. "Acquisition is a thing of the past."
Shares in Yahoo!, which had picked up on investor hopes that an acquisition was in the offing, fell sharply. In morning trading on the Nasdaq the stock price stood at $11.91, down around 14 per cent."