Microsoft loses exclusivity in Yahoo search deal shake up

Today Microsoft and Yahoo announced that the companies amended their search partnership to improve the search experience, create value for advertisers and establish ongoing stability for partners. The update reaffirms commitments made by both companies in the original 2009 agreement, while implementing changes to keep the partnership strong and productive, with both companies committed to maximizing the alliance.

“Our global partnership with Yahoo has benefited our shared customers over the past five years and I look forward to building on what we’ve already accomplished together,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corp., in a statement. “Our partnership with Yahoo is one example of the diverse partnerships we’ll continue to cultivate in order to have the greatest impact for our customers.”

“Over the past few months, Satya and I have worked closely together to establish a revised search agreement that allows us to enhance our user experience and innovate more in our search business,” said Marissa Mayer, in a statement. “This renewed agreement opens up significant opportunities in our partnership that I’m very excited to explore.”

The update includes improvements in two core areas. First, Yahoo will now have increased flexibility to enhance the search experience on any platform, since the partnership is non-exclusive for both desktop and mobile. Yahoo will continue to serve Bing ads and search results for a majority of its desktop search traffic.

Second, the update increases agility and sales focus. Microsoft will become the exclusive salesforce for ads delivered by Microsoft’s Bing Ads platform, while Yahoo will continue to be the exclusive salesforce for Yahoo’s Gemini ads platform. Integrating the sales teams with those responsible for engineering will allow both companies to service advertisers more effectively. Microsoft and Yahoo plan to begin to transition managed advertiser sales responsibilities this summer.

The partnership, formed in 2009 by both CEOs’ predecessors, established a transformative relationship between the two companies — one where Microsoft exclusively provided paid and algorithmic search services on PC to Yahoo. The alliance also designated a revenue sharing agreement where Microsoft pays Yahoo a percentage of Bing Ads revenue delivered from Yahoo searches. This existing underlying economic structure remains unchanged with today’s updates.

Sources: Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft Corp.

MacDailyNews Take: Mayer may have just saved Yahoo. Mobile is the present and the future and now Yahoo is free to innovate in that burgeoning arena.

The stupid, shortsighted 10-year deal signed by then Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and then Microsoft CEO Ballmer T. Clown on July 2009 to have Bing handle Yahoo Search hamstrings any Yahoo CEO, including Mayer. Anyone who proposes, much less signs a decade-long deal in the tech business is a damned fool.MacDailyNews Take, April 15, 2015


  1. Interesting, I wonder what if anything this may do for changes in cooperation with Apple especially in the mobile space for which Yahoo if it has any sense will work hard to cement now that it has less strings attached that would push it back the moment it got close to touching distance.

  2. Ever since Mayer took control of yahoo, I’ve wanted to have nothing to do with it.

    Dumb mail layout, an ad as your first email, disappearing emails, hopeless yahoo homepage with celebrity news passing as news.

    But hey, nice new logo.

    1. The Yahoo News Digest is my primary (at least preliminary) news source on my iPhone. Too brief on topics I care about, but perfect to keep me up to date on those topics I really don’t care about. Sure, it includes some sports and celebrity garbage, but not too much, and it *is* what people are talking about, so I find it to be just right.

  3. I’ve been increasingly positive about the changes at Yahoo. They have not been standing still. I use the Yahoo News Digest regularly on my iPhone to get a quick overview of things. In depth coverage is included if I want more details. If I have loads of time, I’ll open one of my subscription services. Yahoo’s news and news videos are increasingly good. Finance is good. It doesn’t have to be exclusive for me, but it’s solid. Marissa has been doing a very good job since taking over. I’m happy to see she’s gotten some wiggle room away from MS. I think she’s been tied to past bad decisions. I’m not using Yahoo as my main search engine (quack, quack), but I have no issue using it over Google and some others. I think a strong Yahoo is a hedge against far worse outfits out there. That’s my view. And I’m also happy not to see Satya on the Red Ball. But I find it more than a bit amusing picturing Ballmer on one! Go ahead, MDN, put him on the ball. I’m not sure he was ever an a (the) ball before.

  4. You want Yahoo to be strong, if only to combat Google. If Yahoo can look to what works, such as Flickr, which I love and use. Their iOS weather app is well done and so is their News Digest app. They need to do other properties like this well. They should make their email solution absolutely killer, have ActiveSync support unlike Gmail now, killer Maps. Hit Google hard on the feature sets. Slowly one by one you gain those users over. It took Apple nearly 20 years to regain their market share in the United States, which is nearly 50% now. It is easy to lose everything, but much harder to regain it back. Takes a lot of hard work to regain that trust in your brand back. Yahoo can do it.

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