Archive for February 19th, 2010

Here is an interresting article from SF Chronicle.

“Regulators have cleared the way for the landmark search partnership between Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc., creating a unified front in the battle to crack the dominance of Google Inc.

Seven months after announcing the agreement and following several years of merger flirtations, the U.S. Department of Justice and European Commission approved a deal that tightly allies the No. 2 and No. 3 players in the search space. It also marks a pivotal moment in the history of Yahoo, as it cedes territory where it was once a pioneer.

Under the terms of the pact, Microsoft’s Bing search tool will become the exclusive platform on Yahoo’s sites, funneling queries through the Redmond, Wash., software titan’s increasingly popular algorithm. The Sunnyvale Web portal will sell advertising tied to online search for both companies, and Microsoft will pay Yahoo for the traffic it generates.

The deal promises to give the companies control over nearly 30 percent of U.S. online searches, based on the current market share reported by comScore Inc. The combination will deliver improved results for consumers and better returns for advertisers and publishers, the companies said.

“Together, Microsoft and Yahoo will promote more choice, better value and greater innovation,” Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said in a statement.

But analysts are skeptical about how much the deal will really reshape the search industry. Google holds a commanding lead of more than 65 percent of searches, and Yahoo has been bleeding market share for years.

“I don’t think there’s a big shift in power here,” said Carl Howe, analyst with Yankee Group Research Inc.

Rather, he said the agreement provides incremental benefits, opening up a bigger channel of advertisers for Microsoft and lowering research and development costs for Yahoo.

Yahoo previously estimated the agreement would add $500 million to its annual operating income and save $200 million in capital expenditures, though not until two years after the deal was approved.

Implementation will begin in the coming days and could be complete in the United States by the end of the year. The goal is to transition U.S. advertisers and publishers to the new platform before the holiday season, but the companies acknowledged it may take until 2011.

“This breakthrough search alliance means Yahoo can focus even more on our own innovative search experience,” Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said in a statement. “Yahoo gets to do what we do best: combine our science and technology with compelling content to build personally relevant online experiences for our users and customers.”

Read the whole article here.

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