Microsoft back in 2008, had a very public failed takeover attempt of Yahoo, where they were willing to dish out $46 billion to purchase Yahoo. It failed, and now according to reports, have signed a confidentiality agreement with Yahoo which allows them to take a closer look at the struggling company's business as they explore various options for striking a deal.
Microsoft are joined by private-equity firms such as TPG Capital and Silver Lake, where they're going line for line over Yahoo's books and operations. Microsoft this time, is not looking for a complete takeover, but is only looking to help finance a bid as part of a consortium and not buy Yahoo outright, in a move to safeguard their ongoing web-search partnership with Yahoo.
When Carol Bartz was CEO of Yahoo, Microsoft forged a 10-year agreement to provide search technology to Yahoo, which has played an important role in Bing's growth. Should Yahoo go through any issues, or have another company take the keys and change or end the deal or demands of the deal, it would not be clear skies for Microsoft. But, if Microsoft were to hold a controlling [but minority] stake in Yahoo, it might be enough to allow Microsoft the power to continue the current arrangement without having to write a cheque for the full acquisition and operational responsibility of Yahoo.
Back in 2008, they were willing to pay $46 billion for Yahoo, but because of the economy and stock market collapse, Yahoo has not been yahoo-ing at all, dropping 62-percent of their value over the past three years. Did Microsoft dodge a bullet there?