Here We Go Again. Microsoft and Yahoo in Talks on Ad Deal

Well the silence was nice while it lasted, but now it seems we’re in for another extended period of rumor and speculation about a possible deal between Microsoft and Yahoo.

Reports today in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times suggest that Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer and Yahoo’s Carol Bartz last week met for informal talks about a possible tie-up between the two companies. The talks represent the first serious discussion between the two companies since Bartz took the reins from former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang late last year.

In one possible arrangement mentioned in both reports, no acquisition would take place, but Yahoo would sell display ad inventory on Microsoft’s properties while Microsoft would rep Yahoo’s search inventory. The information in the two articles is virtually identical, which could mean they’re based on a deliberate leak designed to help Microsoft and Yahoo control the press coverage of their negotiations.

It goes without saying that a deal is far from certain or imminent.

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