Google could be ready to make a bid for Yahoo, with the Wall Street Journal suggesting that the current giant of the internet may purchase one of the behemoths of the past and is in talks with private equity companies
Yahoo recently reported better than expected financial results, but the waning impact of a company that defined search before the rise and rise of Google is clear.
However, the company remains a massive potential purchase, holding key IP and patents and still holding on to a significant proportion of the global search market – most tellingly in the US.
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Citing a person familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal states that, although a bid is still far from certain, discussions with private equity companies had happened with a view to buying the core Yahoo business.
Google has long been linked to the company, although it reacted with fury when Microsoft made a blockbusting bid for Yahoo which foundered.
Google argued at the time that if Microsoft's $47 billion purchase went through then it would threaten "the underlying principles of the internet: openness and innovation."
"[Microsoft will] now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the internet that it did with the PC," said Google's David Drummond before the bid was rejected – a decision that has been rued by Yahoo's shareholders ever since.
Of course, those comments might well come back to haunt Google should it bid for Yahoo – with antitrust authorities certain to be combing through the potential impact of two of the internet's biggest players joining.
There are plenty of positives for Google that make a Yahoo purchase worth the trouble – including the potential to end a deal with Microsoft that saw its search engine Bing given a boost.
And there's always then potential for Microsoft to resurrect its interest in Yahoo – although a bid in the magnitude of its prior offer would clearly not be on the table.