Yahoo Sells Search to Microsoft?

After months of attempting to buy Yahoo outright, Microsoft has trimmed its ambitions and is in secret talks to acquire Yahoo’s online search business for $20 billion, according to the London Times. Microsoft would impose new management on Yahoo. Jerry Yang, the group’s co-founder, is about to step down as chief executive as soon as the board finds a successor. He opposed the Microsoft takeover and his proposed advertising alliance with Google foundered on competition fears. The Times reports that Jonathan Miller, ex-chairman and chief executive of AOL, and Ross Levinsohn, a former president of Fox Interactive Media, have already agreed to lead the new management. But there is no intention of Microsoft reviving its $47.5 billion takeover bid of Yahoo which failed last summer. Levinsohn derided the Times report as "total fiction."