It is not clear which private equity firms Google has spoken to, the source said. Any potential deal between the two biggest Internet companies would likely arouse antitrust scrutiny. According to people familiar with the matte, Google is interested to help selling some advertising across Yahoo's websites as Yahoo has struggled to get good prices for it, people familiar with the matter said.
Yahoo has been facing major problems since it fired former CEO Carol Bartz in early September. A number of potential buyers have expressed interest in a deal with Yahoo. Private equity firms Silver Lake Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Bain Capital, Hellman & Friedman, Blackstone Group, and KKR are among those likely to get a look at the limited financial data Yahoo"s advisers are circulating.
Meanwhile, Yahoo is trying partner with Microsoft, AOL Inc. and other publishers of online content to pool ad space together into one marketplace to challenge Google's DoubleClick ad exchange. Google has long been the No. 1 player in Web search. But in the display-ad market, Google is smaller but a growing player.