Microsoft may be in the market to purchase Yahoo! after the company tabled a $44.6 billion (£22.4bn) bid, it has emerged.

According to the BBC, an offer has been put to the search engine company’s board by Microsoft in the form of a cash and shares deal that is thought to be worth 62 per cent over Yahoo!’s Thursday night closing share price.

It has noted that as well as struggling to compete with Google and Microsoft’s own Live Search, Yahoo! announced this week that it would cut revenue forecasts and predicted spending an additional $300 million in a bid to change its fortunes.

Yahoo! has since confirmed that they have received the unsolicited offer and added that it would be evaluating the details of the proposal "carefully and promptly".

Commenting on the news, business editor of the BBC News website Tim Weber said that the "corporate marriage" of Microsoft and Yahoo! was a result of the growing dominance of Google.

"It is a shotgun marriage, but the person holding the shotgun is Google," he said.

Yahoo! recorded falling profits of 23 per cent during the period October to December 2007.

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