Forget AOL and Microsoft, could Google be interested in buying Yahoo?
The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that Google has spoken with two or more private-equity firms about staking some of the money to purchase Yahoo.
This is all very much speculative, as Google has yet to submit a final proposal and may end up dropping out of the sweepstakes.
Yahoo's future has been enshrouded in uncertainty since the ouster of CEO Carol Bartz in September.
The company still has not named a full-time CEO as CFO Tim Morse fills in as the acting chief. Yahoo has also been the subject of much speculation over who might purchase the beleaguered company.
There have been reports of a merger with AOL, but Yahoo has dismissed such talk. There have also been rumors that Microsoft, which already has a search partnership with Yahoo, would be interested in buying the same company it pursued three years.
Such a deal would be much cheaper now as Yahoo’s value has dropped considerably over the last few years thanks to lower ad revenues and a persistent identity crisis. The one-time search giant has attempted to refashion itself as a content company, but that transition is still far from ideal.
That makes Google’s interest all the more fascinating, as it is now the reigning king of search.
Conventional wisdom among analysts is that Yahoo will be split into two parts, its weakened portal arm and its valuable Asian assets – Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan.
Google is reportedly interested in selling advertising across Yahoo’s websites.