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Google would like to snag Yahoo search deal from Microsoft

CEO Eric Schmidt reportedly says at an event in Tokyo that the Web giant would still like to do a search deal with Yahoo.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt Stephen Shankland/CNET

The search saga between Google and Yahoo may not be over after all.

Under a search-ad partnership proposed in 2008, Yahoo would have placed Google ads on some Yahoo search results, and the companies would have shared resulting revenue. However, Google was forced to scuttle the deal later that year in the face of growing antitrust concerns, allowing Microsoft to swoop in and strike a deal with Yahoo.

But apparently, Yahoo, which dumped Google as its default search technology provider in 2004, hasn't been far from the Web giant's thoughts.

During a launch event for Google's Nexus tablet in Tokyo yesterday, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt allegedly said Google was interested in replacing Bing as Yahoo's search engine. Reporter Kenneth Maxwell, who covered the event for Dow Jones, told Forbes that he could confirm that "Eric Schmidt definitely said they'd be interested in working with Yahoo U.S."

CNET has contacted Google for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

As intense competitors, it's no wonder that Google would be interested in grabbing some of Microsoft's business, perhaps so much that it would be willing to take a financial hit on the deal. Microsoft's partnership with Yahoo has been rocky, and the search giant was forced last year to extend revenue guarantees for another year to cover expected shortfalls.

However, Schmidt might have an in that gives Google a greater chance to striking a more fruitful partnership; Marissa Mayer, who has recently tapped to resurrect Yahoo's fortunes, was one of Google's earliest employees and a key executive at the Web giant up until just a few months ago.