Apparently, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has been talking about how the company would still love to be Yahoo's search partner.
As you may recall, Google and Yahoo were trying to get an advertising partnership done before Microsoft and Yahoo partnered up, but regulators were having none of it.
A report from Forbes looks at some words allegedly spoken by Schmidt in Tokyo indicating that Google "would love to be search partner for Yahoo." Note: that is a quote from Dow Jones' account, and not necessarily directly from Schmidt himself.
Forbes contributor Eric Jackson says he followed up with the Dow Jones reporter, who said, "Yes, I can confirm, Eric Schmidt definitely said they’d be interested in working with Yahoo US. He also said nothing doing for the time being, but they would be interested. It was also mentioned to him that there is new management at Yahoo US with a Google connection. But he played it pretty straight…. He also said they had expressed this interest to Yahoo before on a number of occasions."
Obviously, a lot has happened since the two companies tried to get a deal done, but Google has attracted more regulatory scrutiny than ever.
Still, Marissa Mayer, a longtime Googler, is running the show at Yahoo now, and there have been rumors that Yahoo's partnership with Microsoft could end prematurely (even before Mayer assumed her role as CEO).
There's no point in jumping to any conclusions, but this is the first time we've seen Google express much interest in Yahoo in a while. There's little here to suggest that a deal will actually happen, but Schmidt's words are intriguing nonetheless.