Yahoo! and Microsoft announced an agreement that promises to improve the Web search experience for users and advertisers, and deliver sustained innovation to the industry.
In simple terms, Microsoft will now power Yahoo! search while Yahoo! will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers.
Microsoft will acquire an exclusive ten year license to Yahoo!’s core search technologies, and Microsoft will have the ability to integrate Yahoo! search technologies into its existing web search platforms. Microsoft’s Bing will be the exclusive algorithmic search and paid search platform for Yahoo! sites. Yahoo! will continue to use its technology and data in other areas of its business such as enhancing display advertising technology.
Self-serve advertising for both companies will be fulfilled by Microsoft’s AdCenter platform, and prices for all search ads will continue to be set by AdCenter’s automated auction process.
Each company will maintain its own separate display advertising business and sales force. Yahoo! will continue to syndicate its existing search affiliate partnerships.
For Web users and advertisers, this deal will accelerate the pace and breadth of innovation by combining both companies’ complementary strengths and search platforms into a market competitor with the scale to fuel sustained development in search and search advertising. Users will find what they care about faster and with more personal relevance. Microsoft’s competitive search platforms will lead to more value for advertisers, better results for web publishers, and increased innovation and efficiency across the Internet.
“This agreement comes with boatloads of value for Yahoo!, our users, and the industry. And I believe it establishes the foundation for a new era of Internet innovation and development,” said Yahoo! Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz. “Users will continue to experience search as a vital part of their Yahoo! experiences and will enjoy increased innovation thanks to the scale and resources this deal provides. Advertisers will also benefit from scale and enjoy greater ease of use and efficiencies working with a single platform and sales team for premium advertisers. Finally, this deal will help us increase our investments in priority areas in winning audience properties, display advertising capabilities and mobile experiences.”
Providing a viable alternative to advertisers, this deal will combine Yahoo! and Microsoft search marketplaces so that advertisers no longer have to rely on one company that dominates more than 70 percent of all search. With the addition of Yahoo!’s search volume, Microsoft will achieve the size and scale required to unleash competition and innovation in the market, for consumers as well as advertisers.
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said the agreement will provide Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, the scale necessary to more effectively compete, attracting more users and advertisers, which in turn will lead to more relevant ads and search results.
“Through this agreement with Yahoo!, we will create more innovation in search, better value for advertisers and real consumer choice in a market currently dominated by a single company,” said Ballmer. “Success in search requires both innovation and scale. With our new Bing search platform, we’ve created breakthrough innovation and features. This agreement with Yahoo! will provide the scale we need to deliver even more rapid advances in relevancy and usefulness. Microsoft and Yahoo! know there’s so much more that search could be. This agreement gives us the scale and resources to create the future of search.”
The agreement does not cover each company’s web properties and products, email, instant messaging, display advertising, or any other aspect of the companies’ businesses. In those areas, the companies will continue to compete vigorously.