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Yahoo Is Said to Collect Final Bids as Auction Nears Its End

The gavel is finally poised to drop in the drawn-out auction for Yahoo's core internet business.

Final bids for the services, which include Yahoo's search, email, advertising and media operations, are due Monday, with the board set to make a decision soon afterward, according to people briefed on the process who asked for anonymity because the bidding was confidential.

The sale of Yahoo's business would close out a largely unsuccessful four-year effort by Marissa Mayer, the company's chief executive, to turn around the internet company. Although Yahoo was once the place where many web users began their wanderings, it fell on hard times over the last decade through a series of strategic and managerial missteps. Although Yahoo's properties still draw more than one billion visitors a month, the company accounts for a tiny slice of the time people spend online.

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The Silicon Valley internet company has conducted several rounds of bidding since February, when it announced that it would explore a sale to separate its struggling operations from its much more valuable investment stakes in two Asian internet companies, Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. The process was eased this spring when the company settled a dispute with a persistent critic, the hedge fund Starboard Value, giving the activist investor four board seats.

The bidders for Yahoo's operations include the telecommunications giants Verizon Communications and AT&T, several private equity firms and a Quicken Loans co-founder, Dan Gilbert, who is getting financial backing from Warren E. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

The offers are expected to vary depending on what assets are included, but Wall Street expects the business to fetch as much as $6 billion, including intellectual property and land.

The field, winnowed from a bigger group of suitors, has a number of different plans in mind for Yahoo. Verizon — which has not been shy about discussing its interest in a deal — would probably merge Yahoo's...


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