The much anticipated Microsoft/Yahoo search alliance is in the “final stages of negotiation” says a source close to Yahoo (YHOO), and may be signed at any time. The two companies have been negotiating the terms of the transaction for weeks, and our source says that the deal guys are largely out of the process now. The lawyers are negotiating the final details.
That doesn’t mean the deal is guaranteed, of course. But everything we’re hearing says it’s highly likely. The deal will be announced publicly shortly after it’s signed, and could come “today, tomorrow, next week” according to our source.
Most of the negotiations have been over an up front payment to Yahoo, speculated to be in the $500 million - $1 billion range. The size and specifics of the up front payment have been a sticking point, including whether it is a simple payment for the deal or a guarantee on future revenues. We have no additional information on where the two companies ended up on that deal term.