The eternally troubled web pioneer has put itself up for sale, bids are reportedly due next Monday and one of the potential buyers is Google, a source tells Bloomberg. One source telling one publication about a possible bid may not mean much. But it’s still way more fun to contemplate the idea of Google ending up with Yahoo than it is to think about the other rumored acquirers like Verizon or Time, Inc.
Many years ago, Yahoo couldn’t quite decide whether to be a tech company or a media company. It ended up being a bit of both—skewing towards the latter—and its indecisiveness helps explains why it has floundered for so long. Google, meanwhile, has always been a tech company. If it is thinking about buying Yahoo, it might be a sign that Google wants to pick up some media assets. Or maybe it has a vision for making Yahoo truly tech-centric, in a way that ex-Googler and current CEO Marissa Mayer has only flirted with.
Either way, just the potential for such a deal gives us an excuse to marvel, once again, at the fact that Yahoo had a chance to buy Google for peanuts in 1998 and turned it down on the grounds that search engines were a bad business.