Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said his company never made an offer to buy Google, contrary to several recent news reports.
In an interview published in yesterday's USA Today, Gates denied reports that Google spurned a Microsoft offer to buy it. Several news outlets, including USA Today, reported the acquisition offer. The New York Times first reported the Microsoft-Google merger discussions Oct. 31.
“We've never been in any talks with Google about an acquisition thing in any way, shape or form,” Gates told USA Today.
Gates' flat denial of acquisition talks comes after the report touched off rampant speculation about what such a move would mean for Microsoft, Google and the search sector. Most industry analysts questioned whether such a deal could work, given the companies' vastly different cultures and Google's anticipated stock offering valuing the company at more than $15 billion. Microsoft and Google declined comment on the speculation.
In the past year, Microsoft has invested heavily on building an algorithmic search technology to rival Google's. Last week, Google rolled out a desktop search function widely seen as a preliminary move against Microsoft's plans to integrate search into the next version of its Windows operating system.