As Yahoo shops itself to potential buyers, Google has emerged as a potential player in helping finance a sale. The Wall Street Journal reported this early Saturday, noting Google would like to sell some advertising across Yahoo’s websites. The king of search has talked to two private equity firms among buyers who could possibly take Yahoo private. Discussions have been strictly preliminary and speculative, and Google could very well decide to sit out. The last time Google toyed with Yahoo, federal antitrust lawyers squelched the deal and might not look any more favorably on another proposal linking the two.
Separately, Yahoo’s China partner Alibaba also hopes to meet with private equity companies about a potential bid to buy Yahoo — and sooner rather than later. Alibaba chief executive Jack Ma said Thursday that if Yahoo’s board “is willing to sell, I’m interested. They’ve just got to let us know.” Federal officials would almost certainly be suspicious if not hostile to any deal involving China.