Microsoft, Yahoo still both wheeling and dealing
The latest scuttlebutt has Microsoft discussing partnerships with Time Warner Inc. (and its AOL subsidiary) and News Corp. (with its MySpace operation), while Yahoo is said to also be in discussions with Time Warner.
Though Microsoft and Yahoo failed to find any common ground during a lengthy courtship, both need to improve their competitive positions in online search and advertising and so are being closely scrutinized.
Since rumors move stock prices, they get repeated, if only to explain the stock fluctuations. Yahoo stock rose yesterday after The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is trying to form a coalition of companies that would together make a bid for Yahoo's search business. Other news outlets discounted the report.
The WSJ’s unattributed information was extensive, however. The paper said that Microsoft is encouraging financier Carl Icahn, who has accumulated a significant minority interest in Yahoo, to keep pressuring Yahoo to reconsider Microsoft’s takeover offer.
Separately, the Justice Department is engaged in a formal antitrust investigation of a deal that Yahoo and Google entered into last month that will have the two collaborating on Web search advertising.
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