But now, the bid shifts to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. as Yahoo is discussing business deals, including one that would combine News Corp.'s MySpace with News Corp. On Feb 11, Yahoo rejected a $44.6 billion buyout offer from Microsoft that was aimed at combining the second- and third-largest online advertising companies to challenge Google, the leader.
Yahoo has told Microsoft that its takeover bid, initially put at $44.6 billion, is too low. The source says specifics of the proposed joint venture haven't
been worked out. Both The Wall Street Journal and a prominent blog, TechCrunch,reported that News Corp. is interested in folding its popular online social network, MySpace.com, and other Internet assets into Yahoo. News Corp. owns The Wall Street Journal and Fox News Channel. A Yahoo spokesman said the company continues to "carefully and thoroughly'' evaluate alternatives that will enrich its shareholders.
The giants of the Internet -- Google, Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo and social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook -- are jostling for dominance of the online advertising market, the fastest-growing of all advertising sectors. News Corp. Chairman Murdoch indicated last week that his company had no interest in an outright acquisition of Yahoo, but he didn't rule out the possibility of a deal involving MySpace.
The company said it sent a letter to shareholders defending its decision to reject Microsoft's bid. "Today, Yahoo! is a faster-moving, better-organized, more nimble company than it was just a few months ago," the letter said, according to a news release. It continued, "The fact is that we are well on our way to transforming the experiences of Yahoo!'s users, advertisers, publishers and developers -- an important shift that is at the heart of our plan to create stockholder value."