News Corp., TW enter Yahoo scuffle

Takeover talks take dramatic turn

The contentious takeover talks between Yahoo and Microsoft have taken a dramatic turn, with News Corp. and Time Warner both re-entering the action.

In one Time Warner scenario under discussion, the conglom’s struggling AOL unit would swap cash for 20% of Yahoo.

Meanwhile, News Corp. is talking with Microsoft about joining forces to bid for Yahoo, a deal in which News Corp.’s MySpace would be a sweetener.

The Wall Street Journal, now owned by News Corp., first reported the developments in Thursday’s editions. The New York Times also had a report on the News Corp.-Microsoft talks late Wednesday.

In morning trading Thursday, the news was credited for an overall market rally, and shares in all of the affected companies were up.

Microsoft recently sent a sternly worded letter to Yahoo, warning its $44.6 billion bid could turn hostile if not met with an appropriate response by the April 26 deadline. Yahoo fired back an angry missive of its own and has been eagerly exploring alternatives to the Microsoft offer.

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