Ballmer reiterates interest in Yahoo talks

Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is still signaling an interest in a deal to buy part of Yahoo.

Ballmer said at a technology and media summit Thursday in New York that a deal would help improve Microsoft's Web search business by expanding the base of users. More people using the search engine means more advertisers. And, Ballmer says, a larger pool of advertisers will allow for more tailored ads next to search queries.

Ballmer said he has had only one conversation with Carol Bartz since she became Yahoo's chief executive in January. Ballmer said he congratulated her and said he'd like to chat at some point about a possible deal.

Bartz's predecessor as Yahoo CEO, Jerry Yang, rebuffed a $47.5 billion takeover offer from Microsoft last year.

Yahoo shares rose 38 cents, 2.8%, to $13.80 in morning trading. Microsoft shares were up one cent at $16.97.

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