updated 10:05 am EDT, Mon July 7, 2008
Yahoo AOL Rush Talks
Yahoo and Time Warner have spent the weekend in talks meant to accelerate a possible merger between the search engine giant and Time Warner's AOL division, says Britain's Times newspaper. Pointing only to insider sources, the publication claims Yahoo was in talks over the Independence Day weekend to speed up exploring the revived AOL deal as well as other options. Yahoo is allegedly eager to have some form of alternative deal to a Microsoft buyout of its search business in time for a crucial August 1st Yahoo shareholder's meeting.
The company is said to be worried about Microsoft taking its search business as it has no way to gauge its worth as just a content service, the paper claims. Concerns also persist that the absence of any alternative deal would give further support to investor Carl Icahn's planned ouster of the Yahoo board, which would replace directors with those willing to make a direct offer of all of Yahoo to Microsoft.
Yahoo has repeatedly maintained that much of Microsoft's bidding undervalued either all or some of its business. Microsoft has denied the claim and has often said that acquiring at least Yahoo's search business is essential to creating a second major search competitor that could threaten Google, which enjoys a dominant marketshare through much of the world.