Google is reportedly close to flinging $1bn at Elon Musk's SpaceX to bulk up investment in the private company's development of satellites for internet-based services.
According to The Information, which cited several people familiar with the matter, a deal could be sealed soon. One source said that Google had agreed to value SpaceX above $10bn.
It was separately reported by the Wall Street Journal that Google planned to pump around $1bn into Musk's spaceflight firm.
Google's apparent flirtation with SpaceX is the latest in a number of efforts to invest in broadband-in-space initiatives, to allow the ad giant to spread its tentacles into every corner of the globe.
The Larry Page-run multinational unveiled its broadband balloons plan – dubbed Project Loon – in 2013.
Space rocket baron Musk walked away from discussions with ex-Google man Greg Wyler late last year, after failing to agree to terms on management of an internet satellites project.
Wyler has since popped up on British billionaire Richard Branson's radar, whose company Virgin Group agreed to back OneWeb Ltd's vision for a fleet of broadband-beaming, low-earth orbit satellites, along with Qualcomm. ®