SUNNYVALE, California: After the anticlimactic end of its "will they, won't they" romantic dalliance with Google, a chastened Yahoo now looks to be making eyes at an old admirer: Microsoft. The ailing search giant's ceo, Jerry Yang, has flirtatiously suggested: "To this day, I would say that the best thing for Microsoft to do is to buy Yahoo."

Speaking at the annual Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco about a possible takeover by Microsoft, Yang added: "I don't think that's a bad idea at all, I think at the right price, whatever that price is."

He also suggested that the Sunnyvale-based online pioneer would be willing to countenance a deal that only included its search operations, an option that has been previously floated by Microsoft.

While Yang's remarks have led to speculation of a renewed bid from Microsoft, some observers argue the software giant is unlikely to resume takeover talks in the immediate future, but will move cautiously to get the best value from any deal.

Jeff Lindsay, an analyst at investment research and asset management firm Sanford C Bernstein, says: "There is only one bidder in this game. Why would they bid against themselves?"

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff