Yahoo Board To Meet Friday; Solo Microsoft Still Seen As Odds-On Favorite

Today was almost eerily quiet after yesterday’s rapid-fire flurry of news… However WSJ is reporting that the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) board is set to meet tomorrow (Friday) to discuss Microsoft’s (NSDQ: MSFT) takeover bid. What’s more, despite the renewed participation from Google (NSDQ: GOOG), AOL (NYSE: TWX) and News Corp (NYSE: NWS). The prevailing sense, according to the report, is that Microsoft, on its own, will ultimately swallow Yahoo. As for what they’ll be talking about at the meeting, it’s not totally clear, though just a wild guess here: they won’t be at a loss for something to talk about. Further discussions are likely to be held next week, with a more direct eye towards settling on a plan.

The report also notes that the AOL proposition hasn’t exactly won over major Yahoo shareholders. As for Microsoft-News Corp., talks between the two companies to take a joint action are said to have begun last year. From the report: “Later last year, the two companies started to talk about options for Yahoo, according to a person familiar with Microsoft’s thinking. The plan the two companies discussed, according to this person, was for Microsoft to operate Yahoo’s search and advertising technology, while News Corp. would control everything else, including Yahoo’s broad array of online media properties… People close to News Corp. say the company has several reasons for wanting to stay involved in a deal. News Corp. continues to weigh how it might sell MySpace, which faces steep competition. The site continues to grow overall, but some executives feel its growth may have peaked.”

— One other interesting bit to emerge today: Dealbook reported that Google has hired Frank Quattrone’s new outfit Qatalyst to advise it during this whole process. It’s not too much of a surprise, seeing as Google CEO Eric Schmidt lent a positive quote last month when Qatalyst announced its launch.