Kara Swisher’s sources were right! A day after Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo (YHOO) announced that they’re talking again, the “alternate transaction” they’re discussing has been described many different ways. Here’s the latest version, from Reuters:
Microsoft has proposed an alternative deal to Yahoo, a complex transaction that would include just buying Yahoo’s search business, rather than a full-blown buyout, a person familiar with the discussions said on Monday.
As part of the deal, Microsoft would also buy a minority stake in what remains of the company after Yahoo sells its Asian assets, the source said. The proposal is little more than an outline reflecting Microsoft’s thinking, and does not yet put a value on Yahoo’s search business.
We still don’t see how buying Yahoo’s search business would end up being a good deal for Microsoft, but we’ll say one thing: This latest deal sounds a heck of a lot better than the “joint venture” reported by David Faber at CNBC.