Microhoo Search?

Round 29: Microsoft Corp has now proposed to buy Yahoo’s search business and take a minority stake in the Web pioneer, Reuters reports, according to a source close to the negotiations. That means that this time around, Microsoft may stop short of a full-out merger.

That actually makes sense, because Microsoft’s real interest in Yahoo is its advertising platform and related revenue—and you get that by buying out the search platform. Most of Yahoo’s other properties, including its content platforms, its e-mail client, instant messaging software, and more, are essentially duplicates of what Microsoft already offers through Windows Live and MSN, and don’t necessarily bring in much revenue on their own.