Is Google preparing to buy Yahoo!?

P0wner of the Interweb, Google has been sniffing around venture capitalist firms to rustle up the funds to buy erstwhile rival Yahoo!, according to a report.

The Wall Street Journal, citing 'a person familiar with the matter', says Google has held 'early-stage' discussions with prospective partners with view to tabling a bid for the wanna-be-bought company.

Google may end up not pursuing the bid, the source hedged his bets by saying, and it's clear the authorities would be all over it.

Antitrust regulators might decide a Google-owned Yahoo would be in nobody's interest except Google's. Microsoft would certainly complain, unless it decided to finally take the plunge and buy the company itself. In which case, a few rumours of a Google bid should help push the price up.