NEW YORK (AP) — Google is exploring the possibility of helping to finance a possible deal by others to acquire Internet search company Yahoo, according to a report published by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday.
Google Inc. has talked to at least two-private equity firms about potentially assisting them to finance a deal to buy Yahoo Inc.'s core business, according to the story, which cited a person familiar with the matter, and did not identify the source.
The Journal said Google and prospective partners have held early-stage discussions, but haven't assembled a formal proposal. The source said Google may not end up pursuing a bid.
A spokeswoman for Mountain View, California-based Google declined to comment to The Associated Press. A spokeswoman for Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo said the company doesn't comment "on rumor or speculation."
Messages that The AP left on Saturday with representatives of Google, based in Mountain View, California, were not returned.
Any involvement by Google in a Yahoo acquisition would likely draw antitrust scrutiny from regulators, because of both companies' shares in the Internet search business.
The report came as investors have recently driven up Yahoo's stock price, betting that the company will sell itself, either in whole or in part. Closing Friday at $16.12 apiece, the shares have gained nearly 25 percent since Sept. 6, when CEO Carol Bartz was fired. They are up 45 percent from the stock's 52-week low reached in early August.