Microsoft Ultimatum

7:00 AM -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Steve Ballmer turned up the heat on Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) over the weekend and gave the Internet firm three weeks to accept his $44.6 billion takeover offer. (See Microsoft Stands Firm.)

In a letter sent to Yahoo's board of directors, Ballmer wrote:

"If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders, including the initiation of a proxy contest to elect an alternative slate of directors for the Yahoo! board. The substantial premium reflected in our initial proposal anticipated a friendly transaction with you. If we are forced to take an offer directly to your shareholders, that action will have an undesirable impact on the value of your company from our perspective which will be reflected in the terms of our proposal."

The pressure's on.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading

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