Updated below: The Yahoo-Microsoft talks are apparently no longer active, according to the Wall Street Journal, which just updated its story.
Microsoft and Yahoo in recent months discussed a possible merger of the two companies or some kind of match-up that would pair their respective strengths, say people familiar with the situation. But the merger discussions are no longer active, these people say. The two companies may still explore other ways of cooperating.
Earlier today, I asked whether this Yahoo-Microsoft chatter was for real this time. Guess we got our answer: NO. Now that doesn't mean a deal won't get done at some point. A merger still makes a lot of sense in many respects. But it apparently won't happen today.
Update, Saturday May 5: Brier Dudley demands a good follow-up story from the New York Post for this goose chase. He got a story, but not a good one. The Post follows up on the stock trading, sticks to its guns and says the following:
Sources said the talks with Microsoft are wide-ranging and include everything from an outright acquisition to the purchase of an equity stake to a joint venture setup.
While Microsoft and Yahoo! have discussed a deal in the past, sources said there is a renewed urgency on the part of both companies to keep pace with rival Google.
It wouldn't surprise me if some analyst was reading Mary Jo Foley's post about Yahoo CEO Terry Semel speaking at a Microsoft powwow and connected some dots. Mary Jo has a following among the Wall Street set. Without knowing the Post source we'll never know.