Microsoft Corp., seeking a foothold in the Internet search business, approached Google within the last two months to discuss a partnership or even a merger, The New York Times said on Friday.
Microsoft may still be interested in pursuing the Web search company at a later date, the report said, citing an executive briefed on the discussion, though its recent advances gained little traction.
The report, quoting company executives and others briefed on the discussions, said Google indicated it was more interested in pursuing an initial public offering.
Reuters reported recently that Google was actively seeking bankers to help it sell shares of the company to the public in what is likely to be the biggest tech IPO in years.
A spokesperson for Microsoft could not be reached for comment early on Friday.