Google is trying to buy rival Yahoo and has talked to at least two private equity firms about financing the deal, reports the Wall Street Journal. Despite Internet ad revenues soaring around 20% a year, Yahoo revenue has foundered for several years, spurring talk the Internet giant could go private to regroup away from the pressures of the stock market. Google is apparently interested in finding a new outlet for its omnipresent ads, Yahoo's exclusive publishing relationships, and the boost that Yahoo's 700 million unique monthly users could give Google+.
Despite earning $2 billion a year from its display ads, experts say Yahoo's ad business is "undermonetized" because most of those ads are on less valuable online real estate—the bigger money is in social networking, where Facebook dominates, so Google+ could be just what both companies need. On the other hand, some think Google might just be expressing interest to drive up the sale price for Microsoft, which already has a relationship with Yahoo and has long been rumored to be interested in buying the company. (Read more Google stories.)