Microsoft, which tried unsuccessfully to acquire Yahoo in 2008, is thinking about making another run at the company. This time, though, a merger of the two companies could impact the entertainment landscape.
To be clear: There's no offer at this point and there's apparently a lot of internal debate about whether to make one at Microsoft headquarters these days. And, technically, Yahoo hasn't announced it's for sale – though it has been talking quietly with potential bidders.
Reuters, which initially reported Microsoft's renewed interest in Yahoo!, notes other bidders for the company include Providence Equity Partners, Hellman & Friedman and Silver Lake Partners, as well as Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Russian technology investment firm DST Global.
Were Microsoft and Yahoo to come together, though, things are notably different than they were three years ago. Yahoo has invested heavily in original content in that time. Just this week, in fact, the company unveiled plans for eight new Web-based shows targeted at women. That will bring the count up to 26.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has been focusing on distributing content, especially through its Xbox 360 console. (Earlier today, the company announced its lineup of 40 programming partners to stream live TV and VOD programs through the system.)
Yahoo's original content might help the Xbox broaden its appeal to women and give it a leg up in original content for the Xbox, an area Sony has been exploring on the PlayStation 3 with reality fare such as The Tester.