Yahoo Joint Bid May Appeal to News Corp.

News Corp.’s (NYSE: NWS) Rupert Murdoch left the door open on Monday to a joint bid with Microsoft to buy Yahoo, a day ahead of the Web portal’s quarterly financial report.

In response to a reporter’s question about his interest in pursuing a bid with Microsoft for Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), he said “Depends on the deal.”

The 77-year-old media mogul also repeated earlier remarks about not having the financial firepower to top Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) bid.

“I certainly can’t afford to bid against Microsoft” for Yahoo, Murdoch told attendees at a speech he gave at the Atlantic Council, an international affairs group.

The Web portal faces a Saturday deadline to respond to Microsoft, after which Microsoft has said it would launch a proxy battle to unseat Yahoo’s board. Separately, sources have said Yahoo is pursuing a deal to merge with Time Warner’s (NYSE: TWX) AOL Internet division.

Yahoo is expected to report its first quarter results on Tuesday. Strong results could force Microsoft to raise its estimated $43 billion offer, some analysts have said.

The company also is set to complete tests this week with Google on whether Google should run a piece of Yahoo’s Web search ad sales.

Murdoch said Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is gaining influence in the advertising world.

“Is Google really going to get control of the advertising world, and should Microsoft be supported in their attempt to try and stop that?” he asked.

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