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Microsoft has raised the possibility of a new deal with Yahoo, one that may involve buying a part of the company but not all of it.

Microsoft has raised the possibility of a new deal with Yahoo, one that may involve buying a part of the company but not all of it.

"Microsoft is considering and has raised with Yahoo an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo," Microsoft said in a brief statement.

The company did not elaborate on the proposal. It said it did not plan at this time to make a new bid to acquire all of Yahoo, but that it was continuing to explore its options to expand its online services and advertising businesses.

Yahoo could not immediately be reached for comment.

Microsoft withdrew its offer to buy Yahoo on 3 May after the two sides failed to agree on a price. Since then, the activist investor Carl Icahn has said he will launch a proxy battle to replace Yahoo's board and force it back to the negotiating table with Microsoft.