As Yahoo's 11 April deadline for acquisition bids approaches, multiple companies have joined and left the race to pick up the business.
The current frontrunner seems to Verizon Communications, which is reportedly planning to big for Yahoo’s web business next week, potentially throwing in an offer for its stakes in Yahoo Japan, just as a sweetener.
That's according to Bloomberg, which cites multiple sources familiar with the matter, and a separate source claiming that Google is also considering a bid for Yahoo’s core business. Also still in the race are media company Time, Japanese telco SoftBank and a host of private equity funds.
Meanwhile, AT&T and Comcast, which have previously been linked to the Yahoo sale, have now reportedly bowed out, and Microsoft – which attempted a takeover of Yahoo in 2008 – won't be making a bid either.
Verizon reportedly values the core business at under $8bn (£5.7bn), though that's still nearly double the $4.4bn it paid for AOL last year. It's unclear how the company's stake in Yahoo Japan, said to be worth around $8.5bn, will figure into that, and the valuation is further complicated by the New York Post's report that Yahoo is sitting on a 'trove of technology patents that could be worth as much as $4bn'.
Whether any of these patents would be included within the acquisition of its core business – and how much the company finally goes for – remains to be seen. But with the 11 April deadline now just three days away, we shouldn't have to wait too long to find out.