Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) may try to buy Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) again, but it does not want the whole company. It finds the search business useful as part of its battle with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). The content portal business does not have much attraction, and Redmond wants a company like Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) to pick up that piece. According to The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft "approached other media companies in recent days about joining it in a deal that would effectively lead to Yahoo's breakup."
The new deal just might work. Yahoo! dropped below $20 yesterday, putting its stock back where it traded before the first buy-out offer. The No. 2 search company's shares reached as high as $33. Investors, especially Carl Icahn, are steamed that Yahoo! did not grab all of that extra money.
Even if Microsoft cannot find a partner to take the Yahoo! content business, it may move ahead. It only has 10% of the US search business. Yahoo! has about 20% and Google around 60%.
Microsoft still needs Yahoo!, and with its stock down by a third, Yahoo! needs a buyer.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 247wallst.com.