Microsoft/ Yahoo Back At The Negotiating Table

Just when we thought the Microsoft/ Yahoo circus was over, Microsoft has issued a statement saying that they have resumed talks with Yahoo, this time for a possible part acquisition that may see Microsoft buy Yahoo’s search business.

Microsoft said in a statement that is was exploring “an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo….Microsoft is not proposing to make a new bid to acquire all of Yahoo! at this time, but reserves the right to reconsider that alternative depending on future developments and discussions that may take place with Yahoo! or discussions with shareholders of Yahoo! or Microsoft or with other third parties. “

A combined Microsoft/ Yahoo search business (we presume with advertising) would deliver much of the promise of the original Microsoft/ Yahoo takeover offer (a Google competitor) while allowing Yahoo to save face, and their still high traffic content business.

Yahoo has already shown its willingness to abandon its failed Panama platform in favor of Google, and Microsoft has shown through deals with Digg and Facebook (among others) that it’s willing to pay for access to advertising inventory. Stay tuned for more as the week progresses.