Google exploring Yahoo buy?

The search site and advertising purveyor has talked to at least two private-equity firms about helping them bankroll a deal to buy Yahoo's core business, says The Wall Street Journal, which cites "a person familiar with the matter."

Google is exploring the possibility of partnering to buy Yahoo, according to a report.

The search site and advertising purveyor has talked to at least two private-equity firms about helping them bankroll a deal to buy Yahoo's core business, reports The Wall Street Journal, which cites "a person familiar with the matter."

The talks are early stage, no formal proposal has been worked out, Google may not wind up pursuing the buy, and it's not clear which private-equity firms are involved, the Journal said. Still, the idea of the currently reigning search giant buying the deposed search giant is intriguing, as is the possibility of two of the Web's biggest companies coming together--a possibility that, as the Journal notes, would no doubt pique the interest of antitrust regulators.

Despite a little good news in its third-quarter earnings results, Yahoo has been in a muddle lately, with a stagnant stock price, high employee attrition rate, and withering product development efforts. The company's board sacked CEO Carol Bartz last month, and Yahoo has apparently been shopping itself around to potential buyers.

Reported suitors include the previously spurned Microsoft, venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz, China-based e-commerce company Alibaba, and fellow Web 1.0 grandee AOL.

According to the Journal's sources, Google likes the idea of selling ads on Yahoo's Web sites.

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