Microsoft and Yahoo have been holding separate talks with other potential media partners after their negotiations with each other broke down, Reuters reports citing sources familiar with the companies' thinking.
Microsoft is talking about alternative deals with Time Warner Inc, which owns AOL, and News Corp, parent of MySpace, a source close to Microsoft said, but any negotiations remain in preliminary stages.
Meanwhile, talks have continued for months between Yahoo and Time Warner over a potential merger of AOL with Yahoo to create a more formidable advertising and media player, but they are no closer to a deal, a source close to the matter said.
The Journal also said Microsoft met with activist investor Carl Icahn in recent days to encourage him to press his proxy battle for control of Yahoo's board, the first sign Microsoft welcomed his month-old campaign. This development also was attributed to unnamed sources familiar with the talks.