Microsoft and Yahoo! ink 10 year deal for search

MUMBAI: Yahoo! and Microsoft have inked a 10 year agreement that will improve the web search experience for users and advertisers, and deliver sustained innovation to the industry.

Microsoft will now power Yahoo! search while Yahoo! will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers.

Under the deal, Microsoft will acquire an exclusive 10 year license to Yahoo!’s core search technologies, and will have the ability to integrate Yahoo! search technologies into its existing web search platforms.

Additionally, 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. Microsoft will also compensate Yahoo! through a revenue sharing agreement on traffic generated on Yahoo!’s network of both owned and operated (O&O) and affiliate sites.

At full implementation (expected to occur within 24 months following regulatory approval), Yahoo! estimates, based on current levels of revenue and current operating expenses, that this agreement will provide a benefit to annual GAAP operating income of approximately $500 million and capital expenditure savings of approximately $200 million. Yahoo! also estimates that this agreement will provide a benefit to annual operating cash flow of approximately $275 million.

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. 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," said Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz.

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 CEO 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. 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," said Ballmer.

"This deal fits the long-term strategic direction of Yahoo! to remain the world’s leading online media company and Carol Bartz has the full and unanimous support of the Yahoo! Board behind this deal. This is a significant opportunity for us. Microsoft is an industry innovator in search, and it is a great opportunity for us to focus our investments in other areas critical to our future," said Yahoo! Inc chairman Roy Bostock.