A new search marketing agreement could be struck between Yahoo! and Google, according to reports.

An article for the Wall Street Journal states that an announcement could be imminent that would confirm Yahoo! is set to carry Google’s AdWords in its search results and that this could affect takeover plans by Microsoft.

It is reported by the newspaper that Microsoft could be ready "to go hostile or abandon its unsolicited acquisition offer for Yahoo!".

Search Engine Land reports that Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has told employees this week that the firm is ready to announce their next move "in relatively short order."

It is also reported that Microsoft has suggested that it could increase its Yahoo! bid, although some analysts are also suggesting it could continue to mount a takeover with or without the help of Yahoo!

PC World also reports that a deal between Google and Yahoo! to run the AdWords search marketing tool "would make it more difficult for Microsoft".

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