The deadline set by Microsoft for Yahoo! to enter into acquisition negotiations passed with no response from latter, leading to speculation that a hostile takeover could be planned.

Microsoft had demanded the firm accept its $42.7 billion offer, a deal which Yahoo!’s bosses have described as inadequate.

However, previous assertions by Microsoft management that they would pursue Yahoo! through all options have caused speculation that it is planning to propose its own director candidates at the next shareholder meeting in an attempt to jettison the current board.

Scott Kessler, a technology analyst at Standard & Poor’s, told the Guardian he believes Microsoft will begin aggressive action to win shareholder votes within days.

"This is something Microsoft has been thinking about and working towards for the better part of two years. [It’s] the kind of company that says what it does and does what it says," he commented.

In February, Google expressed concern over the potential takeover, commenting that it could lead to Microsoft possessing an "illegal and inappropriate" influence over the web.