According to the Wall Street Journal, search engine giant Google has been in touch with at least two private equity firms to see if they can finance a deal to buyout Yahoo. Discussions are in early stages and no formal offer is available as of now.
While Yahoo may have fallen from the stellar heights it once occupied, it still has around 700 million unique visitors to its site every month. Seeing that it has moved away from being a search engine to function more as a news aggregator, acquiring Yahoo would fit in with Google's new moves on the social media platform. Getting 700 million users for Google+ for example would really beef up the service's presence online.
But at the end of the day, the bottom line is always about revenue. Yahoo and Google tried out an ad-test deal a few years ago where Google's advertisements were displayed on the former's website. However, the deal was eventually shut down due to anti-trust concerns raised by regulators. It seems Google has not entirely given up the plan to extend the reach of their advertising and increase their earnings through Yahoo.
It would be folly to assume that the new moves would go undetected by the same regulators in question this time round. Seeing that Google has grown in the last years to become the undisputed search engine of choice for online users, the acquisition of Yahoo could very easily fall foul of monopoly laws internationally as well as in the United States.
Cynics would argue that this might just be Google's way of driving the price of Yahoo up for Microsoft, whose interest in Yahoo is undeniable. Microsoft needs an influx of users if their own search engine Bing is to become a major player online. For now though, it seems that the game of cat and mouse has started off and motives from all three parties remain unclear.