NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Yahoo Inc. is the latest company interested in buying a stake in America Online, news reports said Friday.
The Street.com and the Wall Street Journal reported on their Web sites that Yahoo was in talks about a bid for a piece of AOL, which has suddenly become a hot property for its parent company, Time Warner Inc. (Research), after years of criticism from investors and users alike.
The Internet search and media company joins a crowded field of parties eyeing a possible stake in AOL, including Google Inc. (Research) and Comcast Corp., and a possible joint venture with Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Internet service.
Officials from Yahoo, Time Warner and AOL declined to comment.
In its report, citing people familiar with the situation, the Journal said the talks between Yahoo and AOL were at an early stage.
A deal between AOL and Yahoo would probably be eyed closely by antitrust regulators, the report added, noting that a linkup would combine the two biggest Web properties measured by audience size.
Whether New York-based Time Warner, the world's largest media company, decides to sell a piece of AOL remains to be seen.
But for a look at why AOL has become such a hot property, click here.