Yahoo! shares surge 10% on Microsoft takeover rumour
Shares in the internet portal firm Yahoo have leapt 10% on rumours that Microsoft is considering a second attempt at a takeover.
Microsoft, which last bid in 2008, joins a host of other companies which are considering buying Yahoo, one of the internet's best-known brands.
China's giant internet company Alibaba has already said it might buy Yahoo.
Rumours of a bid from Vodafone also pushed shares in Blackberry maker, Research in Motion, 12% higher.
Yahoo shares jumped 10.1% to close at $15.92 and Microsoft shares ended 2.2% higher at $25.89.
Yahoo's current market value is $20bn (£13bn), compared with Microsoft's previous bid of around $45bn.
Neither party has made any official comment.
Microsoft is said to be divided as to whether it would make sense to mount such a bid.
Reasons in favour include the ability to beat AOL as a competitor by creating a stronger web portal.
Microsoft already has an agreement with Yahoo involving its Bing internet search engine, which powers Yahoo's search but gives 88% of advertising revenue back to Yahoo.
Combing the two could give Yahoo 30% of the US search market, according to analysts.
According to the latest figures from research firm comScore, Google has 64.8% of the US search market, Yahoo has 16.3% and Microsoft 14.7%.
But Yahoo is seen as lacking in growth potential.
Early last month, Yahoo fired its chief executive in a row over the company's future direction.
It said last month that it had received "inbound interest" from a number of parties.
Sid Parakh, analyst at fund firm McAdams Wright Ragen, told the Reuters news agency: "There are many reasons why this thing probably makes sense.
"If you strip out the variety of assets Yahoo owns, you are pretty much paying nothing for the core business."