April 10, 2009
Yahoo and Microsoft in Ad Partnership Talks?
AllThingsD is reporting that Yahoo and Microsoft have been in discussions around forming an advertising partnership for several weeks now. According to Kara Swicher's article, "Yahoo’s Bartz and Microsoft’s Ballmer Finally Talking About Search and Advertising Partnership", the talks have included meetings between the CEOs of two firms. Search industry watchers have long expected some sort of unity from the two companies but hostility, recession, reorganizations and restrictions have always seemed to stand in the way. With Google enjoying more of the marketplace than most marketers are comfortable with, an advertising deal between Yahoo and Microsoft would be almost universally welcomed by the digital marketing sector. Speculation on an advertising deal might be radically premature. Meetings between Yahoo and Microsoft teams are a regular occurrence and have been since Microsoft's passive-aggressive take-over bid failed. With Bartz's recent reorganization of Yahoo's management structure, structural obstacles to tighter relations between the two might have been removed, reorg'ed or otherwise rescinded. It would make a great deal of sense for Yahoo and Microsoft to develop some sort of deal together. Both have contextually delivered advertising networks that only lack the absurdly enormous distribution scope of their much larger shared rival Google. Put the two together however and add a lot of creativity and contextual advertising distribution channels can grow exponentially for both. As always with the ongoing Microsoft - Yahoo saga, the future of these will be certainly interesting enough to write about (
perchance to dream) but observers shouldn't hold their breath too long lest their faces turn from blue to purple and back again.