Microsoft is seeking partners including Time Warner and News Corp. in a new bid to acquire Yahoo’s search business, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Microsoft wants to acquire Yahoo search, with the partner, likely a media company, taking the rest of Yahoo’s business. CEO Steve Ballmer called Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock and arranged a meeting set for Monday, but that meeting was cancelled, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
Microsoft officials contacted in London had no comment Wednesday morning.
In February, Microsoft made an unsolicited bid to buy all of Yahoo, an offer the latter refused. Although Microsoft later raised its offer price, Yahoo continued to decline, and in early May, Microsoft ended the negotiations.
On Monday, his final day as Microsoft’s chairman, Bill Gates stated that he thought any deal between his company and Yahoo was unlikely.
However, the matter has refused to go away with Microsoft indicating it would still be interested in buying part of Yahoo, namely its search business. At the same time, Yahoo investor Carl Icahn has pushed for a deal with Microsoft. He has stated publicly on several occasions that the company’s board failed to serve shareholder interests by refusing to sell, and is maneuvering to replace the board at an upcoming investor meeting in August.
On Tuesday, Yahoo gave shareholders with a 32-page presentation that sought to shore up support for the board ahead of that meeting, and defended its decisions in the face of Microsoft and Icahn criticism.
Jeremy Kirk in London contributed to this report.