Microsoft seeks partners for new bid for Yahoo: WSJ

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Microsoft is considering a new attempt to buy part of Yahoo in a deal with other media companies that would likely see a break-up of the Internet firm, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Microsoft has approached Time Warner and News Corp, among other media companies, to assess their interest in different parts of Yahoo, according to sources close to the discussions quoted by the newspaper.

The software giant has in the past suggested an arrangement under which it would acquire Yahoo's search engine business and another partner would join forces with what was left of the Internet firm, the Journal reports.

According to the same sources, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer asked Yahoo president Roy Bostock for a meeting to discuss a new idea involving other partners. The meeting, set for Monday, was subsequently cancelled by Microsoft.

Microsoft has ruled out making another bid for the whole of Yahoo, after it withdrew a nearly 48-billion-dollar offer in May, and Yahoo announced June 12 that discussions with the software giant on a tie-up had ended.

Yahoo has since launched several moves to persuade investors that it made the right decision, including a new advertising deal with rival Google.

However, the market appears unconvinced. Yahoo shares have dropped 28 percent since February 1, the day that the Microsoft offer was announced.

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