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Microsoft, Yahoo! at It Again, Report Says

SAN FRANCISCO - Rumors about a revived Microsoft (MSFT) merger with Yahoo! (YHOO) were enough to send the Internet giant's stock up on Tuesday.

A short post on TechCrunch raised speculation that the two sides could be talking again. One source told the site that Microsoft may be considering a lower bid than the $33 a share it had last offered Yahoo! before the merger deal collapsed in May.

Shares of Yahoo! were up 3.5%, or 74 cents to $22.19 in recent trading.

This is the first real boost Yahoo! has gotten since announcing less than two weeks ago that it had broken off discussions with Microsoft about selling its search business, an alternative to an outright takeover.

Instead, Yahoo! agreed to outsource some of its online search ads to rival Google (GOOG), but that has not been enough to appease investors, many of whom had still been holding out for a Microsoft merger. The stock had been down ever since.

TechCrunch's report comes one day after CNET speculated that Yahoo! could be negotiating with Microsoft again about selling its search business. Yahoo! declined to comment on Tuesday but in previous statements, it has said that it is not interested in selling that business.

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