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Google is the latest company to be connected to a potential buyout of troubled Yahoo Inc. The search giant has talked to at least two equity firms about helping it acquire a chunk of Yahoo, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which sites an unnamed source close to the matter.
The talks are said to still be in the early stages, and no serious offers have been made, but the play would be for Yahoo’s “core business.” The Wall Street Journal’s source said that a formal proposal hasn’t been assembled, and it’s possible Google could end up not even perusing a bid.
Any deal between the two companies would undoubtedly draw the attention of antitrust regulators, and Google is already in the hot-seat. In September, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt testified at a Senate Judiciary antitrust hearing. The committee is concerned that Google’s dominance of the search market gives it an unfair advantage when promoting its own businesses.
Google is just the latest big name to be tied to a possible Yahoo acquisition. Rumors of Yahoo putting itself up for sale have been circulating wildly since it fired Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz in September. Microsoft, Aol and Chinese company Alibaba have all expressed interest in buying all or part of the company. Yahoo co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang considered making a deal with private equity firms to buy up the company and take it private.
The struggling company is currently being led by interim CEO Tim Morse.