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Google has joined the gaggle of companies lusting over the ailing search'n'content giant Yahoo, according to rumours in the Wall Street Journal. Google has been in talks with private equity firms, says the WSJ, counting the beans they'd need to bag the company, though nothing formal is on the table.

Despite Yahoo! lagging far behind Google in search and even further behind Facebook in social networking stuff, the Chocolate Factory's bid isn't mad as it seems. Yahoo has an astonishing 700 million readers and is one of the biggest sites in the US. Most likely it is that user base that caught Google's attention and the possibility of merging them with Google+.

Microsoft has also been tipped as a potential buyer in speculation that has resurfaced since Yahoo! fired CEO Carol Bartz in September.

Even if Google put together a bid, it's likely federal antitrust lawyers would have an issue with the merging of the two search giants, as they did when Google and Yahoo inked a web-advertising deal in 2008. ®

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