Dopo il mancato accordo risalente alla prima parte dello scorso anno, è arrivato, per certi versi ormai inaspettato, l'annuncio della partnership che legherà
per i prossimi 10 anni Microsoft e Yahoo!. Entrambe le organizzazioni sono accomunate dalla volontà, oltreché dalla necessità, di riuscire a
competere realmente con Google, che è il player monopolista su Internet negli strategici settori dei motori di ricerca (in gergo "search engine") e della
pubblicità on line (in gergo "advertising").
L'accordo prevede l'utilizzo da parte di Yahoo! della più recente tecnologia di ricerca inventata da Microsoft e presentata al grande pubblico mediante il
motore di ricerca denominato Bing; inoltre, Yahoo! continuerà a gestire le campagne di advertising sui propri siti ed avrà introiti anche sul
rendimento degli ads esposti mediante le pagine di Bing. Più in generale, Yahoo! avrà diritto all'88% delle revenue generate dalle campagne
Microsoft dal canto suo, oltre alla tecnologia di ricerca, fornirà a Yahoo! la piattaforma per la generazione e la visualizzazione degli ads, AdCenter, che
manderà in pensione l'attuale soluzione adottata da Yahoo!, Panama, e si contrapporrà ad AdSense di Google. Inoltre, ottenendo l'accesso al pubblico di
Yahoo! Microsoft vedrà crescere la sua quota di mercato nel campo della ricerca on line fino al 28%, ovvero fino al triplo dell'attuale valore. Google con il suo
imperioso 65% (i dati sono riferiti al mercato degli U.S.) è ancora lontano, ma, nello stesso tempo, a breve sarà più vicino.
SUNNYVALE, CA and REDMOND, WA - 29 July, 2009 - Yahoo! and Microsoft announced an agreement that will 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.
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.
Under this agreement, Yahoo! will focus on its core business of providing consumers with great experiences with the world's favorite
online destinations and Web products.
"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! CEO 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 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," 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."
"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," said Roy Bostock, chairman, Yahoo! Inc. "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."
The key terms of the agreement are as follows:
The term of the agreement is 10 years;
Microsoft will acquire an exclusive 10 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.
Yahoo! will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies' premium search advertisers. 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 innovate and "own" the user experience on Yahoo! properties, including the user experience for search, even though
it will be powered by Microsoft technology.
Microsoft will compensate Yahoo! through a revenue sharing agreement on traffic generated on Yahoo!'s network of both owned
and operated (O&O) and affiliate sites.
Microsoft will pay traffic acquisition costs (TAC) to Yahoo! at an initial rate of 88% of search revenue generated on
Yahoo!'s O&O sites during the first 5 years of the agreement.
Yahoo! will continue to syndicate its existing search affiliate partnerships.
Microsoft will guarantee Yahoo!'s O&O revenue per search (RPS) in each country for the first 18 months following initial
implementation in that country.
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.
The agreement protects consumer privacy by limiting the data shared between the companies to the minimum necessary to operate
and improve the combined search platform, and restricts the use of search data shared between the companies. The agreement maintains the industry-leading
privacy practices that each company follows today.
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
The transaction will be subject to regulatory review. The agreement entered into today anticipates that the parties will enter into
more detailed definitive agreements prior to closing. Microsoft and Yahoo! expect the agreement to be closely reviewed by the industry and government
regulators, and welcome questions. The companies are hopeful that closing can occur in early 2010.
The companies have established a website at http:
Source: Microsoft & Yahoo! Press Release