A bit of deja vu is creeping into recent media reports of Microsoft whispering into the right ear of News Corp. and Time Warner's AOL about potential partnerships, while Yahoo is whispering in their left.
According to a , Yahoo and Time Warner have been chatting for months about a potential deal involving Time Warner's AOL and Yahoo. The report, however, notes that the parties don't appear any closer to inking a deal than they were when Microsoft had a buyout bid on the table for the Internet search pioneer.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Yahoo's talks with Time Warner have regained some traction, now that Microsoft's withdrawn offer of $33 a share for the Internet search pioneer appears to remain comatose. But as with Reuters, the Journal also notes that the discussions don't appear to be serious. For one thing, the Journal notes such a combination had put an approximate $10 billion valuation on AOL, but that was before Yahoo's stock had plummeted back to trading levels near the pre-Microsoft offer watermark.
In the end, Yahoo is looking for ways to bring its value back to the $33 a share that Microsoft had offered before merger talks broke off in early May, and Microsoft is looking for ways to bring scale to its online advertising search business, which may one day ultimately pay for any free business applications the Redmond giant gives out to compete with those currently offered by .
So, Yahoo and Microsoft can continue to hit the replay button with Time Warner and News Corp., or switch to a new channel. I hear a new season with potentially a new cast of characters is gearing up for an August 1 debut.