Feeds

AOL, News Corp, private equity firms all have hots for Yahoo!

Report cites big interest in struggling web portal

Build a business case: developing custom apps

AOL, News Corp and a number of private equity outfits are reportedly circling Yahoo! in possible bids to buy the web portal.

The Wall Street Journal cites “people familiar with the matter” who claimed that Silver Lake Partners and Blackstone Group LP are mulling a plan to help AOL purchase the Carol-Bartz-run firm.

They are also considering taking Yahoo! private on their own and the WSJ said two or three other companies could be interested in taking part in such a takeover proposal.

The talks are at an early stage and haven’t yet involved any direct discussion with Yahoo!, warned the unnamed sources.

One scenario being considered could involve China’s largest e-commerce website Alibaba Group buying back Yahoo!’s 40 per cent stake in the company, paving the way for AOL to merge with Yahoo!

Separately Alibaba and Microsoft announced yesterday that they had inked a search deal together. Both firms are publicly testing a beta of the new service, dubbed Etao, in China. However, MS declined to comment further on the agreement, reported Associated Press.

Microsoft’s Bing technology recently began powering Yahoo!’s search estate, so it’s hardly surprising to see the software giant strike a deal with Alibaba.

According to the WSJ, analysts have valued Yahoo!’s stake in Alibaba at around the $10bn mark.

Microsoft, of course, backed out of an approach to take over Yahoo! two years ago. It eventually settled on a search deal with the company.

Elsewhere, Reuters reported that private equity firms have been speaking with MySpace owner News Corp in recent weeks about a possible Yahoo! buyout.

Shares in the web portal leapt 13 per cent to $17.23 in after-hours trading on Wall Street yesterday, following the speculation.

An AOL, Yahoo! merger could help both companies get a small leg-up online. Both firms have not only been struggling against Google's dominance, but also with their efforts to remain relevant among surfers who are increasingly turning to the likes of Facebook and Twitter to fulfill their interweb junkie needs.

Whatever happens, AOL can be assured that it retains Alec Baldwin as a faithful user of its service, even if he does think that the company's "homepage content is written by the dumbest bastards in the world." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?