Internet search giant Google has considered helping to finance the purchase of longtime rival Yahoo, according to Bloomberg.
The talk is in the nascent stages with no serious discussions between the relevant parties, but sources told Bloomberg that the company has considered helping another company or group purchase the search and news site to try to avoid some of its growing anti-trust issues.
Microsoft has emerged as one of the leading contenders to purchase Yahoo, raising the specter of non-competitive practices on Google's part, with no major contenders in the area of search.
"If competition dissipates or diminishes, then the hand of regulators is strengthened," Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research, told Bloomberg. "If competition is diminished or marginalized, then all the arguments about Google being a monopoly ring more true."
Forbes, however, suggests that Google's interest in Yahoo could be noncompetitive itself. Obviously, actually owning a part of the company would raise monopoly concerns immediately, but so would providing advertising for the site. The more likely scenario of driving up the cost for Microsoft, though, could also be perceived as anti-competitive and bring federal action.