Microsoft has reporetedly met with possible bidders for Yahoo! such as Verizon Communications and private equity firms, who may seek backing from the software maker for their offers. According to Bloomberg's sources, the meetings were initiated by the bidders, and Microsoft has not committed any funding. Additionally the company is unlikely to provide anything more than a token investment to anyone, the report added.
The talks are preliminary, according to a second report from Reuters.
Microsoft is obviously focused on preserving the relationship between the two companies. Microsoft and Yahoo have longstanding search and advertising agreements.
Yahoo is is exploring strategic options for the company, taking steps to transform itself and consider deals amid rising pressure from investors. Verizon, Comcast and AT&T are among those interested in acquiring Yahoo’s core business, while Bain Capital Partners, KKR & Co. and TPG Capital are among the buyout firms that have shown interest.
Microsoft's interest in Yahoo comes nearly a decade after another approach. In 2008, then-CEO Steve Ballmer tried unsuccessfully to buy Yahoo for about $45 billion.
Microsoft declined to comment.