Yahoo said that seven separate shareholder suits have been filed against it, the majority charging that Yahoo breached its fiduciary duty by rejecting Microsoft’s buyout offer without attempting to negotiate a more lucrative deal.

Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo in a stock deal (story here), the value of which varies with the value of Microsoft stock but remains in excess of $40 billion.

The legal claims made in the shareholder suits may be a hard argument to sustain, given that Microsoft has offered no indication that it will even consider revising its initial offer, and also given that since Microsoft made its offer, the market has not valued Yahoo any higher than Microsoft has.

Four of the suits were filed in California, and three in Delaware.

Press reports about what is happening with the deal are contradictory. Some sources say the two companies are still negotiating, while others say there have been no formal contacts between the two.

There will likely be little progress on the deal until Microsoft decides whether to offer a slate of nominees to run for Yahoo’s board of directors, all of whom are up for re-election. The deadline for nominations is March 13.

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