Microsoft and Yahoo could announce a deal this week

Where there’s smoke there’s usually fire, and where there is a Microsoft and a Yahoo chief together, most people are predicting an announcement of a search deal.

This week could be the week, according to Microsoft commentator Mary Jo Foley with Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer and Yahoo chief Carol Bartz this week scheduled to attend the official  relaunch of Microsoft’s search.

It does all seem to fit.

First, Bartz and Ballmer finally had face to face talks about a search and advertising partnership last month, according to All Things Digital.

Second, all this renewed speculation has been driven by the fact that Microsoft registered a limited liability company (LLC) in Delaware last week.

Organisations like Microsoft typically register LLC’s in Delaware just ahead of an acquisition or joint venture, according to the Blogosphere.

Add that all together, and the odds are there will be an Microsoft-Yahoo announcement soon so we can all get on with our lives and stop speculating.

And if you are wondering why Microsoft or any other big company would pick Delaware, the answer is a legal one.

Delaware has 110-year corporate case law history on matters such as shareholder issues, mergers and acquisitions.

That means it is easier for companies to know what they can and cannot do in such cases and what the risks and outcomes are likely to be.

For example, Delaware laws tend to be pro-management when it comes to minority shareholder disputes, according to a US investment site.