Microsoft and Yahoo modify 2009 search partnership

Microsoft and Yahoo have made some changes to the search partnership the two companies signed in 2009, giving the firms more autonomy.

The amendment allows Yahoo to have more control over how search results are displayed on desktop and mobile platforms, but Bing will still be used for most of its desktop searches.

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In addition, Microsoft will regain control of selling adverts for Bing, with Yahoo now handling the ads via its native ad marketplace Gemini. It is hoped that this will provide both firms with increased agility and sales focus, enabling them to service advertisers more effectively.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer was keen to stress that the amendment would still see the two firms work together as much as possible.

“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,” she said in a press release. “This renewed agreement opens up significant opportunities in our partnership that I’m very excited to explore.”

Microsoft chief Satya Nadella was also quick to praise the partnership, which he said had “benefited our shared customers over the past five years.” The original deal between Yahoo and Microsoft was a 10-year agreement made between former CEOs Steve Ballmer and Carol Bartz.

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The two firms will be hoping that the modified partnership will enable them to gain a greater foothold in the search engine market. The $80 billion industry is currently dominated by Google, which owns 54.5 per cent of the market, with Microsoft and Yahoo possessing just 4.2 and 2.3 per cent respectively.