SUNNYVALE, California: Fortune favours the brave – or so the adage goes. It is certainly a maxim Yahoo appears to be putting to the test after the passing of the Sunday deadline imposed by Microsoft for the ailing search giant to accept its $44.6 billion (£22.4bn; €28.5bn) takeover bid.

Yahoo had previously dismissed the overall value of the offer as inadequate, while Microsoft has stated that the expiration of the deadline may lead it to pursue a hostile takeover.

As previously reported, Microsoft's cfo Chris Liddell has declared that "with respect to Yahoo we have been clear speed is of the essence".

He also outlined a number of alternative routes Microsoft could now pursue, such as trying to get supporters of its bid on to Yahoo's board, withdrawing its offer altogether or putting it straight to Yahoo's shareholders.

Andy Miedler, of investment advisors Edward Jones, said that while buying Yahoo was strategically a sound move for Microsoft, its current offer already constitutes "paying a high price" for the troubled search engine.

Microsoft itself recorded a dip in profits of 11% last week – with its online division posting a loss of $228 million – and its bid for Yahoo is seen as a means of boosting its position relative to Google in the online search market.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff