Microsoft may join the hunt for Yahoo, a company it tried to buy for $44.6 billion three years ago, and could shell out significantly less to nab now.
Reuters is reporting that the Seattle tech giant is weighing an offer for the portal, whose market value has dropped to $18 billion.
Microsoft tried and failed to take over the company in 2008, eventually brokering a 10 year search deal two years ago.
Since that time, lower ad revenues and an ongoing identity crisis has taken its toll on Yahoo, a company that still boasts strong traffic but has fallen far behind Google and newer companies such as Facebook.
Microsoft may find a partner to go after the portal, Reuters writes citing sources close to the situation.
However, there is reportedly some debate internally about the merits of pursuing Yahoo.
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If the Seattle tech giant does jump into the hunt, would join a list of suitors that is rumored to range from former News Corp. mogul Peter Chernin to private equity firm Silver Lake.
Yahoo and Microsoft declined to comment.
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.
Though Yahoo has remained mum about the potential courtship from hedge funds, internal memos to company employees have hinted at a potential sale.
The portal has seen its stock pummeled as it has tried to reposition itself from a search engine to a content company — a rocky metamorphosis that led to the dumping of CEO Carol Bartz last month.