The Wall Street Journal and others are reporting that a search pact for Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is imminent. The news was first reported by TechCrunch, which says the announcement is scheduled for 1:30 PM PST this afternoon; the Journal is hedging its bets so far.
Google and Yahoo have left the door open for a search deal all along, despite suggestions of anti-trust issues. Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt told Fox Business News Wednesday: "You are presuming that there's an issue there. If there were an issue, it's perfectly possible that you can do commercial deals that look like outsourcing deals which are not exclusive and where industry structures allow everybody to win. If you look in the automobile industry and lots and lots of industries like that, you have suppliers who supply other people. So if there were a deal, it would be based on those sorts of principles."
Meanwhile, WSJ also reports that talks with Yahoo has concluded its talks with Microsoft on any kind of deal, and that MSFT was not willing to pay $33 a share it was earlier. MSFT pulled its offer to buy Yahoo last month, but the two companies have been talking since then, on various subsets of the original deal offer. Yahoo's shares are down about 11 percent
By Staci D. Kramer