Microsoft has proposed to buy Yahoo's search business and
take a minority stake in the Web pioneer, stopping short
of a full-out merger, a person familiar with the
discussions said on Monday.
As part of the deal Yahoo would put its Asian assets,
including significant minority stakes in Yahoo Japan and
China's Alibaba Group, up for sale, while Microsoft would
buy a chunk of what remains of the company, Reuters
reported today citing an unnamed source.
The talks were revealed by the two companies on Sunday,
but they declined to reveal the terms of the discussions.
Earlier this month, Microsoft walked away from a proposal
to acquire Yahoo for $47.5 billion, or $33 per share,
after Yahoo rebuffed the offer, saying it would only
settle for $37 a share.
The new deal, if completed, would forge an alliance
between the two companies that would represent an
alternative means of competing with rival Google, whose
search engine has made it an online advertising
Yahoo is a distant second to Google in Web search in the
United States, and Microsoft is third.
Combined, Yahoo and Microsoft would have around a 30
percent U.S. share, compared with Google's roughly 60
percent, according to figures from research firm
comScore. Google's lead is even larger on a global basis,
according to comScore.
The proposal from Microsoft would likely complicate
ongoing discussions between Yahoo and Google. The two
companies are still talking about a possible search