Microsoft and Yahoo could finally be close to completing a search and online advertising deal, according to reports.
Tech web site All Things Digital reported that senior executives at Microsoft, including Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of the online audience business group, Satya Nadella, an engineering senior vice president, and Qi Lu, president of the online services group, have all flown to Silicon Valley "to iron out the remaining issues".
These issues apparently involve the deployment of technology, but sources on both sides are confident that a deal could be announced as early as next week, the report said.
Details are still scarce, but suggest that Microsoft will pay billions of dollars to take over Yahoo's search advertising business, while Yahoo is likely to sell display advertising for both firms.
"It is down to the short strokes, for sure. It is just a question of whether we can finally close this," a source close to the situation is reported as saying.
A report on investor web site 24/7 Wall Street yesterday labelled the deal as "imminent". Yahoo will receive $3bn (£1.84bn) upfront, the report says, and the deal could help the ailing web firm's shares to jump $4 or $5 (£2.50 or £3).
Microsoft walked away from a takeover bid last year after the two parties failed to agree on a price. Yahoo was then due to strike a search and online advertising deal with rival Google, but this was scuppered by regulatory concerns.
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