Microsoft and Yahoo have finalized a deal in which Microsoft Bing will power Yahoo search. Microsoft and Yahoo were supposed to consummate this so-called Microhoo deal by Oct. 27, but the companies delayed signing to finalize details. The deal is a valiant effort to challenge Google, which has a 65 percent share of the U.S. search market and 70 percent share of the worldwide search market, easily outstripping Yahoo, Microsoft, Ask and other players in the market combined.
Microsoft and Yahoo Dec. 4 said they have finalized a deal that would enable Microsoft Bing to power Yahoo
"Microsoft and Yahoo believe that this deal will create a sustainable
and more compelling alternative in search that can provide consumers,
advertisers and publishers [with] real choice, better value and more
innovation," the companies said
in a brief statement.
The search engine rivals announced
their intent to join forces
against market leader Google July 29 with a 10-year pact to let Microsoft's
Bing search and advertising platform propel Yahoo's search results.
Yahoo will retain its search interface and receive 88 percent of traffic
acquisition costs for the first five years of the deal, and 93 percent in the
second leg. The deal is oriented toward desktop search advertising and does not
extend to Yahoo's core display and mobile ad businesses, which are strong.
Microsoft and Yahoo were supposed to consummate this "Microhoo"
deal by Oct. 27, but the companies delayed signing it
to finalize details.
The deal is a valiant effort to challenge Google, which has a 65 percent U.S.
search market share and 70 percent worldwide market share that easily outstrip those
of Yahoo, Microsoft, Ask and other players in the market-
Together, Microsoft and Yahoo would command 28 percent of the market. Bing has made solid gains since launching in June,
growing from 8.4 to 9.9 percent since its launch, according to ComScore.
Yahoo meanwhile has slipped to 18 percent, prompting financial analysts such
as Broadpoint AmTech's Ben Schachter to question the company's long-term
viability in search.
"Yahoo has ceded share in each of the last nine months, clearly a
trend, and a worrisome one at that," Schachter wrote in a Nov. 17 research
note. "With both Google and Microsoft taking share from Yahoo, it is
difficult to pinpoint the reason for the recent share loss acceleration, but
Yahoo must find a way to stabilize its share loss or all the effort spent
negotiating terms of the search deal will be the least of its worries."
Supported by Microsoft, the question may be moot. However, the Department of
Justice is scrutinizing the Microhoo deal,
even though groups such as the
Association of National Advertisers have asked the DOJ to approve it
because the ANA believes it is good
for the online advertising market.
"Yahoo and Microsoft welcome the broad support the deal has received
from key players in the advertising industry and remain hopeful that the
closing of the transaction can occur in early 2010," the companies
concluded in their statement.
The Microhoo consummation comes just days before Google is to host a search event
at the Computer History Museum in
Mountain View, Calif., and days after Bing made a bang with significant enhancements to Bing Maps,
chiefly replacing the older AJAX mapping technology
with the Microsoft
The completed deal also comes after Bing stopped working for 30 minutes
on Dec. 3, causing a minor
furor in the blogosphere.