Microsoft has reportedly approached Google about a potential buyout of the search technology company.
Google, one of Silicon Valley's few business success stories in the post-dot-com era, has been meeting with investment bankers over the last several months and exploring its options for a public offering. During that process, Microsoft approached Google to discuss alliance options, including a takeover, according to an article in the New York Times.
Google hasn't been rushing to take Microsoft up on the offer: Executives there seem to favour a public offering rather than an acquisition, the newspaper reported.
Microsoft and Google declined to provide comment to the New York Times for its story.
Microsoft has been eyeing the Web search market now largely dominated by five-year-old Google.
While Microsoft has denied plans to enter the paid search industry, it has increased the staff on its search team to more than 200 and deemed MSN Search one of the company's key businesses.