CW News Archive
WSJ: Microsoft Still Looking To Grab Yahoo's Search Business
July 2, 2008: The deal that wouldn't die has risen once more, and the Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has been involved in talks on Yahoo again. But it's not talking to Yahoo this time: WSJ says Microsoft has approached other companies for a deal under which it would take the long-coveted search side of the business while a partner -- possibly News Corp's MySpace or Time Warner's AOL -- would pick up the rest of Yahoo.
WSJ cautions that its sources say the talks are preliminary and unlikely to result in a deal between Microsoft and Yahoo but adds, "Both tech giants are now feeling increasing pressure to reach an agreement, but their recent moves show they remain far apart on what such an agreement should look like."
This all began in January, when Microsoft made an unsolicited bid to buy Yahoo outright, at a price that was a significant premium over Yahoo's stock price at the time. Yahoo turned that down flat -- outraging some shareholders and bringing on a battle from activist investor Carl Icahn, who's looking to have the entire Yahoo board ousted. But WSJ says Yahoo may be more eager to sell -- as a whole company, not in pieces -- than it appeared at the time.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice has begun looking into the massive search advertisement deal Yahoo made with Google last month, in part as a move to placate unhappy investors. Google and Yahoo agreed to wait while the Department of Justice looks at the deal, and the DOJ has now begun a full investigation -- even though the companies are not merging. The Washington Post says the DOJ is asking for documents from Yahoo, Google, and other companies in the online media industry.