Jerry Yang is desperate to avoid selling to Microsoft: the Yahoo founder, like most Silicon Valley bigwigs, hates the lumbering software giant to the north; the big bad media mogul is cuddly in comparison. Yahoo's long felt the absence of a social network site: it tried and failed to acquire Facebook. And Murdoch's keen to cash in on his smart investment in MySpace, which is worth about ten times what he paid for it. For a 76-year-old, the media mogul is surprisingly faddish: he's noted that rival Facebook is adding users more rapidly than MySpace; and is demonstrably more enamored with the venture's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, than MySpace Tom and his own team.
So this might be a good moment to get out. News Corp., which certainly can't afford to mount a competing bid for Yahoo after spending $6bn on Dow Jones, already floated the idea of a swap of the social network for Yahoo stock last year, in the Times of London, which Murdoch owns. With Bill Gates' Microsoft the alternative, Yahoo may now be more receptive.