Japan’s antitrust authorities have cleared Yahoo Japan’s plan to rely on Google for algorithmic search results, rejecting complaints from Microsoft and others that the combined service would field as much as 90 per cent of the nation’s search queries.
Japan Fair Trade Commission officials told wire services that they would not block the deal announced in July but would continue to monitor it for any harm to the market. Read more
A year after Yahoo and Microsoft finally agreed to combine their search efforts, the result is showing up.
Starting this week, natural searches on Yahoo from the US and Canada will begin being “powered” by Bing, the Microsoft search engine. Paid search results are still on track to be delivered by Microsoft this autumn, Yahoo executives said Tuesday, unless quality issues force a delay past the winter holidays.
Most users won’t be able to tell the difference, but the relevance should be better, said Yahoo vice president Shashi Seth. Read more
Facebook, the biggest gaming platform in the world with nearly 500m members, will inevitably “screw up” its position, according to the president of rival social network Hi5.
Alex St John, formerly founder of the WildTangent casual gaming company, said Zynga, the biggest and most successful game publisher on Facebook’s social network, is also facing major challenges. Read more
Yahoo chief executive Carol Bartz will announce a partnership Monday with Nokia that will put Yahoo search, email and other functions in the hands of at least some customers of the world’s biggest–for now–smartphone maker.
That was the bare-bones report filed today by All Things Digital, and FT colleague Andrew Ward and I have confirmed it, without getting much more in the way of details. Read more
Microsoft has revamped its Hotmail browser-based email service in time for Office 2010 and the official introduction of online versions of Office applications.
The company may be trailing Google with its integration of Google Docs and Gmail, but consumers should be familiar enough with Office programs to want to give the new integrated service a try. Read more
You couldn’t quite call Carol Bartz’s first European press conference a charm offensive.
“Why do you think I’m here?” Yahoo’s chief executive asked, half-joking, when pressed about whether anyone could have done a better job of leading Yahoo in the 16 months since she joined. “I’ve got plenty of money and was very happy. I don’t need everybody to think I’m an asshole. You think it’s so much fun answering your questions? If I didn’t think there was a good bottle of white wine at the end of it, I probably wouldn’t do it.” Read more
Access to Google search results from within mainland China was blocked recently for many hours, then restored, even as the US company switched explanations for what was happening.
In the meantime, Yahoo email users in China specialising in politically sensitive material complained that their accounts had been compromised, while malicious software tried to install itself on computers in Vietnam used by critics of a Chinese mining investment in that country. Read more
Consolidation in the mobile advertising market continues at breakneck pace. After Google’s proposed $750m acquisition of AdMob and Apple’s $275m bid for Quattro, Amobee is now buying RingRing Media of the UK for an unspecified – but probably much smaller – amount.
California-based Amobee said the deal would result in a combined company bigger than Quattro in terms of revenues and number of ads served each month. Analysts at IDC estimate Quattro has around $21m in mobile ad revenues, giving it around 7 per cent of the market. Both would still be dwarfed by the combined Google/Admob, which would have nearly a quarter of the market with revenues of $68m. Read more
With streaming Netflix movies now available on TV screens through the Xbox, PlayStation 3, Tivo, several Blu-ray players and LG HDTVs, the little Roku set-top box, which became one of the first Netflix streamers 18 months ago, is in need of some differentiation.
That came today with the launch of 10 free channels on the box, which sells for as little as $80.
Pandora radio, Facebook and Flickr photos, FrameChannel feeds, MobileTribe social networking and video from Blip.TV, Mediafly, Motionbox, Revision 3 and TWiT make up the lineup.
(This review was first published on November 23 2009) Read more
The love-hate relationship between Microsoft and Yahoo will be tuned to “hate” for the remainder of the month.
In private, the companies are working on separate versions of integration plans that will send some Yahoo engineers to work for Microsoft as it prepares to take over delivering automated free and paid search results to Yahoo. Read more
If Silicon Valley technology companies go through something like the stages of life, then Facebook is in its adolescence — growing quickly, and struggling to find its identity.
That it is rapidly bulking up is no longer in question. The latest figures from comScore show Facebook to be the fourth-largest site in the world, with a 340m unique visitors, trailing only the sites of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Facebook has added 208m visitors in the past year, a 157 per cent growth rate that has allowed it to surpass MySpace, Amazon and Wikipedia. Read more
With advertisers like Martin Sorrell lining up to welcome Wednesday’s Microsoft/ Yahoo search pact, it might seem churlish for regulators to take a long hard look at the alliance. But that is exactly what they’re going to do – and there’s certainly no assurance that the deal will get the green light.
The babyfood business in the US provides the biggest warning sign. Back in 2000, Gerber controlled around two thirds of the US market for jarred babyfood – not that different from Google’s 77 per cent share of US search advertising, according to Microsoft’s figures. Read more
Microsoft and Yahoo agreed on Wednesday to an online alliance that could create a more formidable rival to Google in the search business. The deal will give Microsoft a 10-year licence to integrate Yahoo’s search technology into its existing search platforms, while Yahoo will become the “relationship sales force” for advertisers for both companies.
This post is a live blog of a conference call with Carol Bartz and Steve Ballmer, the chief executives of Yahoo and Microsoft. Read more