Rivals Microsoft and Yahoo! are reportedly on the verge of signing a partnership that would see the two parties work together on internet search technology and advertising in a bid to counter Google's ever growing domination of the sector.
Silicon Valley-based All Things Digital reported that an agreement is about to be signed between both companies. Kara Swisher understands that only the finer details needed to be ironed out before the deal is officially announced.
Various sources concord as to what will happen next: Microsoft is likely to take over Yahoo's advertising business for a massive amount - some figures suggest several billion dollars - with a guaranteed commission being paid back to Yahoo.
This is the latest in the on-off romance between the two firms which started back in February 2008 when Microsoft launched a hostile bid to buy Yahoo for up to $45 billion, an offer which was rejected within days.
Yahoo Share price fell by 60 percent until the end of November 2008 before picking up sharply, rising by 87 percent over the last eight month; the company's stock is currently valued at $16.71, up by 3.21 percent.
Google has a massive lead in the US market, the most lucrative one, with 65 percent compared to 20 percent for Yahoo and around 8 percent for Microsoft, the rest being divided between AOL, Ask and other smaller actors.
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The deal could or could no go through. In any case, even if this was successful, it wouldn't distract Google from its goal of ultimately controlling more of the world's marketshare. The company is already extending its tentacles to many, many sectors; mobile computing, telephony, operating systems.
Microsoft and Yahoo near ad deal-AllThingsDigital
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