Google Considers Yahoo Bid

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The Internet giant is looking at financing a private equity deal as Microsoft and others also circle the company.

NEW YORK - Google has joined the lineup of companies exploring a potential bid for Yahoo, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The online giant, led by CEO Larry Page, has talked to at least two private equity firms about possibly helping them finance a deal to acquire Yahoo's core business, according to the paper.

Google is mainly interested in selling advertising across Yahoo's sites and bringing its social networking service Google+ to Yahoo's nearly 700 million monthly unique visitors, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the company's thinking.

Yahoo also has deals with content companies, such as a recent agreement with ABC News, which could allow Google to strengthen its content relationships, the paper added.

Any deal tying Google and Yahoo, which are two of the world's biggest Internet companies, would be sure to attract antitrust scrutiny, which could explain why it is looking for private equity partners to lead the charge. However, Google's interest could also partly be an attempt to bid up prices in an auction.

Yahoo's board last month got rid of CEO Carol Bartz and started exploring strategic alternatives.

Among other possible Yahoo bidders are Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba Group, a China-based Internet firm, in which Yahoo owns a stake of about 40 percent, and Microsoft, which is looking at extending loans to potential deal partners Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, according to the Journal.

Yahoo management during a quarterly earnings call the other week provided no timeline for a decision about the company's future.


Twitter: @georgszalai

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