Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers advisers have CEO Jerry Yang and the Yahoo board of directors talking a merger with AOL, according to the Times of London. Last week, new Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes announced plans to formally split AOL from its ISP business, in a move that he said would "increase AOL's strategic options." The Times also reports Yang and company plan to test interest from Disney.
We've also heard talk of a deal with NBC Universal. And about four other rumored deals that will not happen. AOL, likewise, shows little sign of happening; debt-laden Time Warner wants cash, not stock, for AOL, and it's not clear how tacking AOL onto Yahoo would boost the latter's value higher than the Microsoft offer. Clever of Yahoo's bankers, though: Even talking up rival deals has to keep Microsoft scared.