Yahoo board to debate deal options

Yahoo's board of directors is expected on Friday to discuss the various options for cutting a deal, according to a report in the <i>Wall Street Journal</i>.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto

Yahoo's board is expected to debate on Friday its various options for cutting a deal with Microsoft, AOL-Time Warner, and Google, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

And while Yahoo's board is expected to discuss its options--with many insiders still seeing a Microsoft deal, sans the participation of News Corp., as the most likely outcome, the WSJ says--no major decisions are anticipated. But that may change next week, the report notes, citing a source familiar with the issue.

Yahoo is under great pressure to either engage in formal talks with Microsoft or find an attractive alternative within the next two weeks. Microsoft, , issued an ultimatum last weekend that called for Yahoo to close a deal with the software giant in the next three weeks, or face a hostile battle that would entail a proxy fight, exchange offer and possibly a lower buyout bid.

While Microsoft appears to have maintained its favorite-son status with investors and Wall Street analysts, a flurry of news reports Wednesday pointed to a possible Yahoo-AOL transaction involving Google could be in the works.

Speculation also surfaced Wednesday that Microsoft may draw News Corp. into a Yahoo deal, but the Journal, citing sources, noted a Microsoft-Yahoo deal would likely occur without News Corp. hanging around.

In the meantime, eyes are on Yahoo for its next volley into Microsoft's court.