Yahoo, the original internet search engine, is to be acquired by one of five companies after final bids were received earlier this week. US communications company Verizon is believed to be the favourite to land the venerable web property.
The other bidders are a group led by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, AT&T, and private equity companies Vector Capital Management and TPG, although it is not certain whether AT&T and TPG have submitted final bids.
Yahoo is expected to review the bids and to request best and final offers this week, according to Bloomberg's source. The final decision is expected to be announced before the end of the month.
Vector Capital and Gilbert's group are understood to have made the highest offers in the second round of bidding, which took place in June, but the competing parties are interested in different assets.
Gilbert and Vector Capital are looking to acquire Yahoo's core internet business, intellectual property and real estate, whereas Verizon's bid does not include Yahoo's patents and real estate.
Verizon is understood to have raised its initial bid of $3.5bn after new offers closer to $5bn were put on the table from other suitors.
The comms firm is likely to be Yahoo's preferred bidder as its business model is closest to that of Yahoo. Other potential buyers are more likely to dismember the company to realise the value of its assets.
Verizon has been building up its online advertising portfolio, acquiring AOL for $4.4bn last year to gain the company's mobile video and online advertising technology.
Verizon is integrating this into its smartphone and internet advertising offerings and cable TV business. The interest in Yahoo presumably lies with the billion regular visitors to the firm's various websites.
Meanwhile, AT&T has a stake in digital advertising company YP Holdings and is looking to increase its presence in the online advertising arena.
Yahoo was founded in 1994 and is one of the first true internet companies. It was the very model of a Silicon Valley startup, attracting billions in funding and advertising revenues.
But Yahoo has struggled over the past decade to cope with competition from newer rivals such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, all of which have been far sharper and more energetic in terms of exploiting new technology.
The last roll of the dice, employing CEO Marissa Meyer, who was head-hunted from Google and took the post in 2012, has failed to turn the company's fortunes around. Indeed, her tenure has been marked by job losses, disappointing financial figures and disagreements with investors.
Yahoo did see some success this quarter, however, reporting a 5.2 per cent rise in quarterly revenue to $1.31bn in the three months ending 30 June from $1.24bn a year earlier.
The company is valued at £35bn, the vast majority of which is down to its holdings in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, which are not included in the sale.
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