msnbc.com news services
updated 1/9/2009 8:04:01 AM ET 2009-01-09T13:04:01

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer has told the Financial Times newspaper that the current period of transition for Yahoo is a good time for a search deal between the two technology companies.

“We now have someone in place running our online business, and Yahoo’s out looking for a CEO,” Ballmer reportedly told the newspaper. “If a search deal is to be made, it’s probably to be made in the interim period for new leaders in both places.”

Ballmer’s comments raise the pressure on Yahoo to hand over control of its search business to the software company. Talk of a deal between the two companies has circulated for months. In November Yahoo said it will replace founder Jerry Yang as CEO as soon as a replacement is found.

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

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