It seems that canny Carl Icahn has got his way, and Yahoo and Microsoft are again in talks.

The billionaire investor, who has threatened the Yahoo board with a proxy battle to force the team back into talks with Microsoft, will today be rubbing his hands at the news that a new deal is on the table.

Yahoo has released a statement in which it explains: "Yahoo has confirmed with Microsoft that it is not interested in pursuing an acquisition of all of Yahoo! at this time".

"Yahoo! and its Board of Directors continue to consider a number of value maximizing strategic alternatives for Yahoo!, and we remain open to pursuing any transaction which is in the best interest of our stockholders."

"Yahoo!'s Board of Directors will evaluate each of our alternatives, including any Microsoft proposal, consistent with its fiduciary duties, with a focus on maximising stockholder value."

In a similarly wooly statement, Microsoft says it is "continuing to explore and pursue its alternatives to improve and expand its online services and advertising business".

Echoing Yahoo, it says that it is not initially discussing buying the whole of the web company but does add that things may change.

"Microsoft is not proposing to make a new bid to acquire all of Yahoo! at this time, but reserves the right to reconsider that alternative depending on future developments and discussions that may take place with Yahoo! or discussions with shareholders of Yahoo! or Microsoft or with other third parties."

It concludes: "There of course can be no assurance that any transaction will result from these discussions".