Yahoo/Microsoft search partnership at risk as Yahoo approaches Facebook

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The Sunday Telegraph, via Business Insider, reports that Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer is in talks with Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg about a search tie up.

Apparently Yahoo has been looking to extricate themselves from their 10 year deal with Microsoft, launched in 2009, and Facebook has been looking to get into the search game, with Mark Zuckerberg famously noting  they are in a “pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have”.

The Yahoo partnership has been central in keeping Bing, which has only 16% market share on its own, relevant against the Google behemoth, which has 66% share. Together with Yahoo, which is powered by Bing, Microsoft has access to around 30% of the search market in US. Loosing access to this stream of data would be extremely detrimental to the quality of Bing’s search results.

Of course it is likely that Microsoft’s deal with Yahoo is air tight, and it would not be so easy for Yahoo to change horses in the middle of the stream. Yahoo has declined to comment on the speculations.

Read more at BusinessInsider here.

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