NEW YORK: You know a romance has gotten serious when parents on both sides start asking about job prospects and bank accounts. As with love, so with commerce: each party's folks want to run an eye over the other's numbers to see if they add up.

The cerebral term for this commonsensical once-over is 'due diligence', a term coined by accountants and lawyers to inflate their already hefty fees.

According to insiders, AOL Time Warner and Yahoo are about to enter this testing stage of their off-and-on-again relationship.

The lovelorn pair are now pondering a marriage of convenience that would integrate AOL's content and advertising activities into Yahoo's search business, a union in which Time Warner would retain a stake of unknown size.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff