The Scotsman throws it out there:

GLOBAL giants including Apple and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp are believed to be considering rival bids for the internet company Yahoo, which has received a $44.6bn (£22.6bn) offer from Microsoft.

The conglomerate InterActiveCorp was another company named as a potential bidder for Yahoo, which is said to be unwilling to give in to Microsoft without a fight.

After Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer made the offer in a letter on Thursday, it emerged that Yahoo had rejected a similar takeover attempt by Ballmer’s organization a year before.

Yahoo chief executive and co-founder Jerry Yang is understood not to be Microsoft’s greatest fan, and would be prepared to line up another ‘white knight’ rather than concede to Ballmer.

It is believed he would be particularly open to a rescue bid from Steve Jobs’ Apple Corp, having openly expressed his admiration for the firm in the past.

Apple does have a bit of cash laying around ($16 Billion) and Steve Jobs did pay the Yahoo! VPs a visit last year.  According to Kara Swisher, it was quite the motivational speech.  Steve Jobs also knows how to bring a company back from the brink of collapse (see Apple 1997).

Stranger things have happened – and the drive from Cupertino to Sunnyvale is a bit shorter than from Redmond – not to mention that the Valley culture is much stronger at Apple and Yahoo than at Microsoft.

Also, Apple has much less overlap in products and services than Microsoft does with Yahoo. 

The unlikely move however, would put Apple in direct competition with (Apple Board member) Eric Schmidt’s Google, a partner and ally in its battle vs. a Microsoft dominated marketplace.

Other white Knights include InterActiveCorp, Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp (yikes!) and some foreign suitors.

Dinosaur Securities analyst David Garrity even thinks it’s possible that China’s search leader, Baidu.com Inc., or Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba.com Inc. might bid for Yahoo. Alibaba.com is 40 percent owned by Yahoo.  He also considers Apple a potential suitor.

 Still though.  Super-unlikely.

About the Author