The international IT rumour mill has gone into overdrive during the past few days with suggestions that an internet mega-merger is on the cards.
A Yahoo/eBay partnership is deemed "most likely" by Reuters. The news service quoted a recently published report by analyst Imran Khan and the JP Morgan internet team suggesting that a partnership or merger between eBay and Yahoo is the "most strategically feasible".
"A combined company would have the leading position in auctions, communications, payments, graphical advertising, audience reach and geographic breadth," said the report.
Tim Arango, a journalist with the New York Post, claimed that Microsoft has been in discussions to buy eBay for several weeks.
"According to multiple sources close to the matter, Microsoft has considered buying eBay and merging it with its MSN portal, a deal that would give MSN and eBay considerable clout to take on Google," the New York Post stated.
Rick Aristotle Munarriz, of financial website Motley Fool, even goes so far as to joke that the merged companies might be called 'eBaysoft', 'Microsoftbid' and 'MicroBay'.
But on a more serious note Munarriz expressed doubts that a merger between eBay and Microsoft would be allowed by US antitrust regulators.
"If Microsoft sneezes the wrong way, the antitrust watchdogs flinch. It's bad here in the US, but even worse in less forgiving places like Europe," he said.
"There may be little overlap between the two tech giants, but when you combine Microsoft's muscle in all things software, and eBay's growing role in consumer-to-consumer exchanges, you're left with a beast that may be too large to justify."
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