Bing Provided Yahoo $353 Million Last Quarter

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Given some of Marrissa Mayers recent comments about the Yahoo/Bing search alliance, you may have believed that the money Yahoo was receiving from Microsoft amounted to a rounding error on the accountant’s spreadsheet.  But perception does not appear to be in line with reality as it was revealed today that the revenue from Microsoft accounted for nearly 1/3 of Yahoo’s revenue last quarter! I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that is much more than anyone expected.  Yahoo reported that it had $1.139 billion in revenue last quarter (GAAP), which means Microsoft gave Yahoo around $353 million as part of the search alliance.

Yahoo agreed to disclose more details on its revenue tied to search and display advertising after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent letters to the company asking for clarification.  The company outlined the portion of revenue it gets from a search agreement with Microsoft, following inquires stretching back several months, according to new regulatory filings that were made public yesterday. Yahoo, which had previously said the deal comprised more than 10 percent of sales, said the pact generated 31 percent of revenue in the latest quarter.

The data underscores Yahoo’s reliance on the search alliance, which was forged in 2009. Microsoft, which competes with Google in online search, shares revenue from Internet advertising with Yahoo. The Web portal also said it would break out quarterly sales for search and display-based ads for its own properties and from promotions tied to partner sites.

“Since the company and its management are in possession of all facts relating to a company’s disclosure, they are responsible for the accuracy and adequacy of the disclosures they have made,” Patrick Gilmore, accounting branch chief at the SEC, wrote in a letter to Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer on April 26, according to a filing.

Yahoo’s revenue is under scrutiny from investors as Mayer, who was hired from Google last year, seeks to drive a turnaround to bolster growth. Yahoo said in October that fourth-quarter sales, excluding revenue passed to partner sites, would be $1.18 billion to $1.22 billion, short of analysts’ average estimate for $1.25 billion.

Mayer was successful in buying Dan Loeb out, but I think she’s going to find it much harder to get rid of the Bing deal.  Maybe this is just a tactic to get more money from Microsoft when negotiations restart in 2014.

Source: Yahoo



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Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • Bugbog

    Partners always scream and shout (or whine & backbite) Microsoft profit-sharings. Maybe Microsoft should allow Yahoo to go, let’s see what she’d get from her ‘unrequited love’ Google, if at all Google would even be interested in sharing their search revenue with anyone!

    • Liberal Republic

      Yahoo cant make a deal with google. Such a deal would wake up anti trust authorities.

      • Bugbog

        I suppose I should have ended my comment with the “:/” emoticon, given that it is such an unlikely occurrence! :)

      • Guest

        They can’t make an equity deal, but they can make an advertising deal. In fact that’s what Mayer has been trying since she first came to Yahoo, What’s unknown is how easy it is for them to get out of the MS deal. Reports keep talking about Yahoo’s dissatisfaction and how Mayer has been threatening to get out of the deal. But you have to think that MS put some protections in there for themselves. And let’s face it, Yahoo has failed even worse on their end of things than MS has.

  • Liberal Republic

    Mayer is just trying to get yahoo away from Bing even when the deal is profitable. She come from Google and there is deep seated irrational hatred for MS. I wonder if all the losses Bing is accumulating is because of this deal. MS doesn’t need yahoo anymore. MS should invest in newer companies.

    • Guest

      There’s definitely no love lost between Mayer and MS. But the move to Google advertising is all about driving short term revenue. Google’s revenue per search is much higher than MS’s. Mayer wants quick hits. Competiting against Google over the long term isn’t on her agenda. The answer to is the yahoo deal responsible for Bing’s losses is yes and no. Obviously the transfer payments to Yahoo are equal or more than current Bing losses. But Bing is also benefiting from all of Yahoo’s traffic which while lower now than MS’s, is still significant.