Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has downplayed the importance of the company's failed bid for Yahoo, saying that cash earmarked for the deal will go towards other purchases.
According to Reuters, Ballmer told an audience in Moscow: "You can do a whole lot of things with $50bn."
"We will spend money on some acquisitions," he was quoted as saying. "Yahoo was never the strategy we were pursuing; it was a way to accelerate our online advertising business."
Microsoft has pursued Yahoo for much of 2008. The company first began its takeover effort on 1 February, when Ballmer issued an open letter to Yahoo's board proposing a buyout.
When Yahoo's board refused the offer, Ballmer issued a deadline for the company to change its mind before launching a proxy effort.
Yahoo's board again rebuffed Ballmer's threats of a hostile takeover, opting instead to pursue a deal to outsource its search advertising to Google.
With the looming possibility of having to purchase Yahoo without its ad business, Ballmer announced on 3 May that Microsoft would abandon its efforts to acquire Yahoo and look elsewhere to boost its online advertising reach.
Yahoo is still struggling to put the saga behind it, however. After Microsoft finally withdrew its offer, a group of Yahoo investors lead by Carl Icahn launched an attempt to oust the company's board and replace it with a group willing to cut a deal with Microsoft.
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