Yahoo! Inc. has been in talks to potentially unload its $7 billion stake in Yahoo! Japan, a report said on Wednesday, citing a source close to the matter.
However, negotiations are in early stages and no deal is near, according to the Wall Street Journal. Yahoo! owns a 30 percent stake in its Japanese namesake.
Japan's Softbank holds 41.9 percent and is the largest shareholder in the Japanese firm. On Wednesday it denied earlier reports that it was in talks with Yahoo! to also buy the US firm's stake.
"We have no intention to acquire the (Yahoo! Japan) shares," Softbank said in a statement.
The Journal cited a person familiar with the matter as saying one of the many options currently being considered by Yahoo! was a sale of the stake, but no deal has been finalised.
Yahoo! announced in December that it was cutting about 600 jobs in its third wave of layoffs since late 2008 as chief executive Carol Bartz oversees a reorganization for the Internet pioneer.
Executives with the US firm have in recent weeks said they are examining its stake in the Japanese firm.
Yahoo! Japan holds a dominant position in Internet search in the Japanese market with a more than 50 percent share, compared with around 30 percent for rival Google.
In a deal announced last year, Yahoo! Japan chose Google's search technology to power its web searches and also adopted its advertising and distribution system, while maintaining its current user interface.
Japan's fair trade watchdog in December gave the go-ahead to the search alliance following complaints from Microsoft and Japan's top e-retailer Rakuten that the tie-up would give Google near-total control over the Japanese market.
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