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Ahead of the Bell: Ballmer to speak at Web summit

October 18, 2011

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SAN FRANCISCO—The head of Microsoft is among the keynote speakers Tuesday on the second day of a Web conference in San Francisco.

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corp., is scheduled to speak Tuesday afternoon at the Web 2.0 Summit just after potential takeover target Yahoo Inc. releases its financial results for the third quarter.

In 2008, Yahoo rebuffed Microsoft's offer to buy Yahoo for $47.5 billion. The two companies have since forged a partnership in which Microsoft now runs Yahoo's search engine and gets 12 percent of revenue from ads that run alongside search results.

But Yahoo is entertaining a sale again and has hired investment bankers Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allen & Co. to advise its board. There's speculation that Microsoft may be interested in buying Yahoo outright, though the partnership with Yahoo gives Microsoft less incentive to do so.

Also speaking Tuesday are Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Inc., and Dennis Crowley, co-founder of the social network Foursquare.