Yahoo Desperately Seeking Suitor: Time Warner

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Yahooo's desperately seeking a suitor. With a Microsoft proxy battle expected soon, Time Warner's emerging as a white knight for the Sunnyvale search engine. Or as a delaying tactic to put off the Yahoo annual shareholder meeting.

Talks between Yahoo and the AOL unit of Time Warner have escalated. Finding an alternative to Microsoft's unwelcome bid remains Yahoo's focus, according to reports this morning in The Wall St. Journal (subscription) and The New York Times.

The deal discussed would combine Time Warner's AOL Internet unit with Yahoo, as we reported on February 1st. Reports of the Yahoo Time Warner AOL talks first emerged on February 10th.

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What are the chances? Still a longshot since the buyout by Microsoft is almost inevitable.

The clock's ticking on Microsoft's rejected Feb. 1 offer. At an almost $45 billion value, Yahoo spurned it as undervaluing the company. Now it's worth $41.2 billion.

Who supports the AOL-Yahoo combo? Google, naturally, with a 5 percent stake in Yahoo.

Facebook, with Microsoft as an investor, remains on the sidelines. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg hired Google's Sheryl Sandberg yesterday. That brilliant move makes the game more interesting.

For a more in-depth look at Facebook, Google and Yahoo, check out former Yahoo exec Erik Qualman's SEW Experts Brand Equity columns:

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About the author

Kevin Heisler, formerly the executive editor of Search Engine Watch, is a search and advertising industry veteran. His former roles include VP, strategic accounts for integrated digital marketing firm 360i; director of business development for Didit Search Marketing; and search industry analyst at Jupiter Research.

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