More details on possible Microsoft-Yahoo deal surface

Earlier this week we reported more rumors that Microsoft was working with a couple of investment partners for a bid to acquire Yahoo. Now The Wall Street Journal has even more details on this possible bid, again via unnamed sources. The story claims that Microsoft would not actually own any common shares in Yahoo under the proposed bid and would only put up several billion dollars of its own money.

So why make any bid at all to purchase Yahoo, if you are only one part of a group? The story seems to hint that Microsoft wants at least some kind of say in Yahoo's future plans. That makes sense since Microsoft made a deal with Yahoo in 2009 to provide the site's search service with Microsoft's Bing technology.

But is such a bid doomed to failure, even if Yahoo accepts such a proposal? Yahoo has lost a lot of its previous influence in the Internet, thanks largely to the rise of Google. Yahoo's management has also shown that it has no clear direction for what it wants to do to help the company grow.

In the end, it will be a risky proposition for Microsoft to make any bid for Yahoo, even if it doesn't spend a lot of its own money. On the one hand, Microsoft wants to protect its search investment in Yahoo. On the other hand, it might be better to see if Yahoo can raise itself up on its own two feet for once and see if it can save itself from extinction.

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