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Microsoft-Yahoo Search Deal Gets Go-Ahead From EU, US DoJ 113

Posted by timothy
from the will-it-blend? dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft and Yahoo announced Thursday morning that the US DOJ and the European Commission have approved an agreement between the two firms to have the Bing search engine power Yahoo's sites. The companies said that engineers will begin adapting Bing for the Yahoo site 'in the coming days' and that they hope work is completed, at least the US, by the end of this year."
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Microsoft-Yahoo Search Deal Gets Go-Ahead From EU, US DoJ

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  • I think... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sys.stdout.write (1551563) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:20PM (#31195218)
    I think I support this... I mean, Yahoo and Microsoft of course both suck, but Google needs some legitimate competition in the search market...
    • by sys.stdout.write (1551563) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:24PM (#31195260)

      Yahoo CEO Bartz in a statement. "Yahoo gets to do what we do best: combine our science and technology with compelling content to build personally relevant online experiences for our users and customers."

      "Science"? I think Yahoo! took the "Google Labs" thing a little too literally

      • Perhaps Yahoo! has built a large city destroying robot, or created some sort of Google employee targeting bio-weapon that they and are looking to get MS as a 50/50 partner in the upcoming mayhem and destruction.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by algormortis (1422619)
      Yes, Google should have some competition, however do you really think that Microsoft really needs to get any bigger? We've been hearing about Apple and Google going at each other's throats for quite some time now. I'd like to see if Apple ever steps up with a search engine of their own.
      • I'd like to see if Apple ever steps up with a search engine of their own.

        Don't hold your breath. Apple sells hardware.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by algormortis (1422619)
          There are only three companies that I'd expect to ever surprise me with the markets they might potentially invade in the future: Walmart, Microsoft, and Google. I frankly would not be surprised if Walmart set their sights on the internet, nor if Google came out with their own phone service (emphasis on the service, I know they already have the Nexus). I can definitely also see Microsoft coming out with their own "smartphone".
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I mean, Yahoo and Microsoft of course both suck, but Google needs some legitimate competition in the search market...

      How will Yahoo or Microsoft help?

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Fluffeh (1273756)

        I mean, Yahoo and Microsoft of course both suck, but Google needs some legitimate competition in the search market...

        How will Yahoo or Microsoft help?

        I totally agree. I had a look at Bing to see what the content was like. Sorry, but it's laughable. It is more polarized to finding articles that support MS than it is to finding articles relative to the search. In my opinion, this won't help Microsoft, this will help Yahoo die quicker, which will then just help Google.

        • by motek (179836)

          No, it is not laughable. Unless, that is, your laughter trigger is so sensitive you burst out at the sight of a little girl dropping her ice cream cone...

          Seriously, though. I made an experiment and switched to bing at one of my workstations. I found bing clearly inferior to current google, but only by that much. Its performance (and I mean relevance of results) is adequate. Not great, but adequate. It is clearly the number two, way above anything else but google.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      They have plenty of competition, there are thousands of companies that sell advertisement. "Search" isn't a product, in exactly the same way that TV shows aren't products, the commercial slots between and during shows are. You view of reality is skewed.
      • "Search" isn't a product

        Google makes lots of money selling sponsored links on search results.

        • Hmm, so what you are saying is that they sell advertisement, interesting. I never thought of it that way.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by WillDraven (760005)

            I would say they sell "search advertisements" as well as "syndicated web advertisement", "on demand video advertisement" and several other products. One could contrast these markets to "billboard advertisements", "tv advertisements" and "syndicated print advertisements".

            Like it or not advertising is huge, and as such it makes sense to pay attention to these (relatively) smaller segments of the entire market for advertising services; especially when making decisions about the health of the market.

          • Right, obviously they make the money through advertising. But you were trying to argue that "search" isn't a market, and that Google has thousands of competitors since thousands of people sell advertising. The point is that only a handful of people sell sponsored links in their searches; it is a distinct market.
            • by iserlohn (49556)

              What a particular market encompass is one of the main types of argument used in antitrust cases. Regulators usually try to narrow the market down to specific product categories, while companies defending usually try to widen the definition so that their market influence is relatively less from a bigger market. If you review antitrust cases, like those regarding Article 81 and 82 of the EC treaty, this is readily apparent.

            • But you were trying to argue that "search" isn't a market, and that Google has thousands of competitors since thousands of people sell advertising. The point is that only a handful of people sell sponsored links in their searches; it is a distinct market.

              I neither "tried" nor "argued" anything. I very successfully stated that "search" isn't a "product".

              When was the last time you bought a search from Google? Answer, you never have. What version of Google search are you using? You have no idea. What is a product is the people who are searching. Just like billboard companies don't sell the billboards, they sell the number of eyes that will see the billboard. The search engine is just the carnival hawker getting people to come visit. Search is an effec

      • by c_forq (924234)
        But search is a product, just like the Gillette Fusion I received in the mail or the X-Box under my TV. In all these cases it is a discounted or free product pitched so the parent company can market and sell a second product (in these cases ads, razor blades, and games/movies). TV shows are also products, producers make them and market them to TV networks. TV networks than wrap some metrics/demographics on it and market them to marketing and advertising agencies.
      • I run a small-medium sized web site that targets K-12 teachers. We started out small with very targeted ads, advertising on Google with a budget of $10/day and started making decent sales. We were doing so well that we decided to try Yahoo. We used the exact same ads and the exact same keywords as the ones for Google that were doing well. We put $100 in our Yahoo ads account to start with, and burned through the whole amount in 4 days without a single sale. Needless to say, we turned it off immediately and
    • Re:I think... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:16PM (#31195598) Homepage Journal

      But this is less competition. Yahoo is no longer providing their own search results.

      Google just lost a competitor.

      • by mirix (1649853)
        YahBing will (presumably) catch more eyes than one or the other, which means they will sell more ads, which means they will be more competitive with google. Not as good for the consumer though, I suppose.

        Myself, I haven't used anything but google since the launch. I don't particularly miss the dark ages.
      • by Tim C (15259)

        Sometimes fewer competitors leads to increased competition, if two or more small competitors merge to become one entity with sufficient resources to be able to actually compete effectively.

    • by miffo.swe (547642)

      Google do need some competition on the technical merits of search, not from a convicted monopolist with years of abuse in their belt. Now that Yahoo is gone competition have disappeared, not increased.

      The US did a major mistake when they denied Google helping Yahoo out. Google wants healthy competition, not the kind Microsoft brings.

  • Who will suffer? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nicknamenotavailable (1730990) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:24PM (#31195254)

    So will this make Yahoo suck like Bing, or Bing actually find pages (I'm interested in) just like Yahoo?

    Every time I've used Bing, I've been disappointed.

    • Well, Bing is licensing some of Yahoo's search algorithm technology, so hopefully this will improve Bing's results.
    • I gave it a shot for a month and I found I just wasn't satisfied with it. It didn't have the simplicity Google offered in Search and many times I'd find myself going back to Google.

      The biggest notable area I had to keep going back to Google was actually searching Technet and MSDN for articles. I was finding one or two keywords would into Google would give me the correct page I was looking for while Bing would give me completley useless results.

    • by mayko (1630637)
      I just want Bing to actually index sites. I have a relatively new site (3 months) that has been submitted to Bing with a site map for a couple months.

      The site is 100% english and is getting traffic from Yandex, and Baidu... but if I type the title of the site, or the URL into bing. It doesn't even show up.

      Wait to go microsoft, an exclusively Chinese search engine is faster at indexing English websites.
      • by geeper (883542)
        Wait to go microsoft,
        Perhaps I've found your problem.
        • by mayko (1630637)
          Hahah. Woops, I was probably going between talking on the phone or reading something and screwed that up somehow. I'm a native English speaker, just a silly error.
    • by Jearil (154455)

      (I work for Yahoo!, but my opinions are of course not Yahoo's)

      Part of the contract with Bing deals with the relevancy of results. Basically Yahoo will only start using Bing's results if they are at least as relevant as Yahoo's current results. After a set time, if Bing does not meet the relevancy requirements then Microsoft has to pay Yahoo for the maintenance of Yahoo's current search infrastructure while Bing improves. The idea I think is that it will give MS a financial incentive to improve relevancy qui

  • Both? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Yahoo and Bing?

    Now I can ignore both at the same time!
    • by jo42 (227475)

      Binghoo! Yahbing!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...besides throw-away e-mail accounts?

      Seriously, the last time I used Yahoo search was in 1998. I remember because I had just started a new job and was trying to get the dumb bastards to remove ancient erroneous links in their directory (or whatever the fuck it was called) that were causing my new company big headaches. I did not succeed, but people stopped using that hideous thing and the problem went away.

      Yahoo's motto at the time must have been "as dynamic as hard-set concrete".

      I tried their search (powe

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by westlake (615356)

      Now I can ignore both at the same time!

      Because ignoring Microsoft has served the geek so well in the past.

      Yahoo draws about 130 million visitors a month, who spend about 5% of the their time online there.

  • SLASH failed again. Explanation: this story is tagged "search", and the link to the left of "read more" on this story entry as appeared in the front page shows up as "search.slashdot.org" which is the domain name part of the story's url, which is semantically wrong. (There's no /. section called "Search". That domain should have been hosting the search tool for /. or whatever, but has deformed into a monster of a search page and an index of stories tagged "search", unlike other sections e.g. apple.slashdot.

  • That's ironic. Just today Firefox on Ubuntu (Lucid) was updated to default to Yahoo search...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm pretty sure anyone using Firefox on Ubuntu will just change the default to search to whatever they want, as usual.

      It seems a little bitchy of Firefox, who have their panties in a knot ever since Google lost patience with the pace and direction of FF development and released Chrome.

      Took a while for Chrome to not completely suck on a mac, but it's finally arrived and I only fire up FF or Safari whenever I hit a site that's just plain Chrome unfriendly. Probably about once a week, with someone's POS "dyna

      • by jbengt (874751)
        It's not really bitchy of Firefox to want to hedge their bets and lessen their overwhelming reliance on Google. Especially since in this case the default was probably set by Ubunutu, not Firefox.
  • Hope and change... meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    I can't imagine any scenario where this benefits the market. I lean heavily toward free market economics, but one area where the government *must* exercise control is in creating more competition, not less.

    I think if I were king, I'd pass a law that any market must have at least 3 or 4 strong players, otherwise it's monopoly bustin' time.

  • More choices? wtf? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nicknamenotavailable (1730990) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:56PM (#31195460)

    FTA

    "I believe that together, Microsoft and Yahoo will promote more choice, better value and greater innovation to our customers, as well as to advertisers and publishers."

    Wait, Two companies combining forces, eliminating the better search engine(IMHO) and then we're told this will result in "more choice"?

    I really don't understand how this could be, but I won't use Yahoo (a mediocre SE. at best) anymore. For me it means less choice.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:13PM (#31195576)
      currently in online advertising there is ZERO choice, you go with google or you get only a fraction of the audience, by joining up with bing (the better search of yahoo and bing imho) they gain enough market share to be a viable choice, hence there is more choice.

      also don't make the mistake that you are the customer here that is supposed to get more choice, you are googles/bings/yahoo's product, the customers/consumers are the advertisers and they are the ones getting more choice.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by wealthychef (584778)

        the customers/consumers are the advertisers and they are the ones getting more choice.

        God, I'm really trying to get excited about that. It's not working.

        • Are you trying to get excited with the fusion of tho crappy search engines? Wow, I never found THAT at perversius.com...

          • Man, this reminds me of the Sperry Univac-Burroughs merger. Talk about tying two rocks together and expecting them to float.

  • search engine to submit URLs for indexing?
    *Does happy dance*
  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:19PM (#31195606) Homepage Journal

    Google wanted to infuse Yahoo with money to keep them afloat with a search deal. It was immediately killed as an anti-trust violation, and they threatened Google with the possibility of breaking them up if they attempted something like that again.

    So Microsoft infuses Yahoo with money in a search deal and it is approved.

    I know Google has a larger market share than Yahoo, but which of the two companies has been anti-competitive in their business practices?

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Dude, sometimes the MSFT bashing just don't work. X360 and RROD? Bash away. MSFT and Intel loading the game against newcomers with the OEMs? Fell free to take aim. But we are talking about the web here, a completely different beast that MSFT has consistently gotten their asses handed to them over and over again.

      Google taking over Yahoo would pretty much make Google the only game in town. MSFT taking over Yahoo at least leaves two, even though IMHO Yahoo had the better search and Bing, like every other atte

      • by Dadoo (899435)

        Either way the odds of MSFT being able to make Bing/Yahoo the only game in town is pretty much 0%

        I wouldn't bet money on that. All Microsoft has to do is make Bing the default search on IE (which they will do, of course). Unless Bing is spectacularly bad, very few people will take the effort to switch, and that'll be it, for Google.

        Even the little old ladies know what "Google it" means

        True, but when you want to "xerox" a piece of paper, do you require a Xerox brand copier, or will any old copier do?

      • by jbengt (874751)
        There are horizontal monoplies [wikipedia.org] and vertical monoplies [wikipedia.org]
        Neither are good for you.
    • by Tim C (15259)

      Because in the search engine arena, Google is the 200lb gorilla. If it bought out Yahoo, that would essentially kill competition.

      With MS and Yahoo teaming up, that creates a single search company that while still smaller than Google is in a much better position to compete with it than Bing would have been against Google/Yahoo.

      That is why it's ok for MS, but not for Google.

      • Except they weren't going to buy out Yahoo.

        Microsoft initially was going to fully buy out Yahoo, which would hurt competition. The DoJ was fine with it.

        Google only stepped in at that point offering Yahoo a cash infusion to keep Yahoo afloat and prserve competition. The DoJ smacked it down.

        Yahoo is no longer in the search business because of the DoJ's intervention.

  • by iCantSpell (1162581) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:40PM (#31195730)
    Yahoo users.
  • by Locutus (9039) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:59PM (#31195816)
    you've been a big part of the internet for many people but as many partnerships like this in the past, you just don't walk away from a deal with Microsoft. It's like that giant slug thing in Stormship Troopers where they suck out your brain thinking it'll make them smarter. It doesn't work but it does kill you. It's been good to know you Yahoo and I hope Mr Icahn is happy knowing he handed you to Microsoft.

    LoB
    • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Friday February 19, 2010 @12:46AM (#31196006) Journal

      Whatever.

      Yahoo faded from usefulness just as quickly (or slowly) as search engines became useful (rather than being a glorified text search, displayed in no particular order)). I've been around Teh Intarwebs long enough to remember a time when, if you wanted to find something. It was just a big, human-sorted list of sites. [archive.org] It didn't have everything, but it had a starting point for most stuff. There were lots of other lists in no time, but Yahoo's was the largest and broadest.

      I remember the birth of Altavista, which was the first nail in Yahoo's coffin (there were other early players which contributed, but none of them sucked less than Altavista).

      Ever since, it's just been getting worse for them. Indexes of websites are hardly useful these days. Yahoo tried to branch out, with chat, and news, and forums, and lots of other things... But, ultimately, it seems they're failing because their original focus and purpose has become all but useless, as the slug around the expensive weight of all the other stuff they've tried to do since. When I went there a second ago, I couldn't even find [yahoo.com] the index anymore in all the noise they have on their front page. (Does it even exist?)

      Google's uncanny usefulness was one of the next nails in the coffin. Bing and other useful search engines, have driven the last spikes.

      It's very interesting to me that, back in Google's infancy, long before adwords, or any ads at all within Google, their chief source of revenue was Yahoo, who used them as their search engine. That's right: Yahoo used to pay Google for search services. And now the two big search engines both want to pay Yahoo for the same thing.

      Buh-bye, Yahoo.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228)

        What you are looking for is this [yahoo.com], the other is simply their web portal. And I know folks make fun of their "bloated" web portal all the time, but being in PC repair I can tell you the web portal was actually a brilliant idea. Why?

        Because working on the PCs of the non tech over 30s I find that nearly all of them, down to the last man and woman, have their home page set to the Yahoo web portal. Either they have it set to Yahoo themselves, or through an affiliate like AT&T, but either way they DO have it s

        • Actually, that is their search engine. What the GP was talking about was Yahoo's directory, and can be found at http://dir.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com].

          The sad part is that is that the directory page is now mostly "The Spark Blog" and advertising links, with the "real" directory occupying a tiny column on the left side.

          I can remember a time when that directory was actually one of the few *useful* sites on the web. Now get off my lawn.

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Oh Lord, I had actually blocked that out. You mean there were people out there that actually LIKED that directory crap? really? Because I found it only slightly less irritating than the first MSN Search. For you pups that aren't old enough to remember, MSN Search had an autocomplete that was so fucking bad that people would use it just to laugh at how bad it was. You would start a search like this- "B...uhhh bassoon? Baboon? Big purple ape?" WTF? "Bas...uhhh...Basutoland? Basalt? Bashful women and how to da

            • by adolf (21054)

              Yes, I liked it just fine.

              For you young pups out there who don't remember a time before MSN Search, for when gopher, FTP and telnet ruled, for when having a SLIP connection at home (instead of something arcane line a terminal dialup into a VAX) was not only unheard of but impossible for most folks, years and years before the September That Never Ended, when this World Wide Web thing was still young and very disorganized, and MUDs were still cool, Yahoo was useful.

              Past-tense. Way-past. But, still.

              • by hairyfeet (841228)

                Good Lord man! I thought I was old for remembering using the local BBS because without phreaking the long distance charges would kill you, and having all the IP addresses written in my "cool" book. You DO realize us true greybeards are dying out, being replaced by these little pups that think the Internet started with Windows 95, yes?

                The September that never ended was just the beginning of the shitstorm pal. The clueless I have walking into my shop now makes the ones we dealt with back then look like fri

                • by adolf (21054)

                  I'm not that old -- I just started young. There's lots of older geeks than I, though the beard has been getting a little grey lately...

                  I never got into phreaking, so my BBS days (as in, my BBS -- I still called some later) were over just as soon as I discovered that cyberspace.org (defunct) offered free Internet access. All you had to do was call it up and make an account, and foot the long distance. I forget the details, but it was a UNIXy system, and I believe it did have some fashion of proper shell a

                  • by hairyfeet (841228)

                    Well I'm pushing 42, which in PC years is like 100, so I AM old. As for how I stand it? Let you in on a little secret which I learned from my former boss Doug who was the master of dealing with home users. I have a sign on the wall that lists the prices, and at the bottom it says in bold letters "THESE PRICES ARE NON NEGOTIABLE" that way I am no different than McDonald's. You don't see people arguing about the price of a Big Mac, do ya? You would be surprised how ingrained obeying signs is with the public.

                    • by adolf (21054)

                      Yep. I'm familiar with some of those tools, and I'll be checking out the rest -- thanks.

                      Meanwhile, it's hard to post a sign with "NON-NEGOTIABLE" verbiage when it's just a fly-by-night operation. But I suppose it may help to be a little more upfront, or even bold, with individuals about pricing.

                      I started off with VIC-20s and TRS-80s (even had a Model I with a 64k RAM expansion, dual double-sided drives, and a wide-carriage line printer, almost none of which I was able to exploit fully), but didn't get in

                    • by hairyfeet (841228)

                      Then just print up the sign on any standard printer and have it ready to hand out. Like I said folks are trained to obey what they see in writing, and by having your prices printed up they will see up front what things cost and there can be no surprises.

                      As for the TRS-80? Just let me say you lucky bastard! I could only dream of the floppy drives, I was stuck with cassette for the duration. Remember the "fun" of trying to cue your code up on those early tape drives? Man that was a bitch. After the old IBM di

  • by kregg (1619907)

    So Lucid users can look forward to using Bing as the default search engine.

    • by mirix (1649853)
      Might be a bit presumptuous, but I assume if they can manage to get linux installed, they can change their FF homepage, too.
  • Wow (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Ryanrule (1657199)
    The haters without information are out tonight!
  • padding (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gerzel (240421) <.brollyferret. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday February 19, 2010 @01:14AM (#31196104) Journal

    Seems like it will give MS more time to develop Bing by padding its' market share with Yahoo traffic.

    One thing I'd really like to see is how many people who have switched from mostly using Google to mostly using Bing.

    • by Tromad (1741656)

      Bing actually isn't that bad, but for actually searching things you aren't sure about google is superior. What is good about bing is that if you know what you are looking for, but don't know the website, it generally will filter out the junk and just show you what you are trying to look for. However for more esoteric searches bing will spew random information but google will actually show you what you are looking for, even if it is on the 8th link.

      Bing maps is clearly superior to google maps though if you a

    • I haven't switched, but sometimes Bing's results genuinely are better. I still use Google for "interesting" searches, but when I just can't remember the URL to something or similar, Bing is typically better.

      Experiment for the reader:
      A very specific thing. I want the WikiBooks LaTeX guide, and I can never be bothered to remember the kinda-long URL.
      Type "wikibooks latex" (no quotes) into both Bing and Google. Tell me which results are better.
      • by bjartur (1705192)

        Google's feeling lucky redirected me to the right site and the Bing had it as the top result.

  • Farewell Yahoo! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by miffo.swe (547642)

    Its sad to see yahoo going down like this. It really had some excellent services and i will miss many of them. With the Google agreement they would have had a chance of surviving and even grow but now i give them at most a couple of years. Icahn must have some reverse Midas touch where things he gets involved in turns to shit.

  • from the article:

    engineers will begin adapting Bing for the Yahoo site "in the coming days" and that they hope work is completed, at least the United States, by the end of this year.

    and:

    After full implementation, which the companies expect will come about two years after regulatory approval...

    with these kind of glacial speeds of development... and they wonder why the mighty Google is trouncing them?

  • At least we know what search engine to use when you want to find useless shit that doesn't come anywhere close to your search query. Perhaps Google will partner with them to use them as a search result inverse filter -- anything Yahoobingstank returns can immediately be trimmed from the Google results. I better hurry up and patent that idea..

  • There's almost nothing available for download these days that doesn't try to package the Yahoo toolbar into the installer. I simply can't understand why so many companies are happy to have that that asinine, invasive, virus of a toolbar associated with their product. The only thing I can think of is that Yahoo might be hosting the download bandwidth for them.

    And now this? My prediction: That damn toolbar will start showing up in MORE places, because now every Microsoft download will include it too.

  • Yahoo/Bing is not a threat for Google,as Google is so secure of its search market, such as the story that Bing has only 2% market share in Japan [slashdot.org]. Google is now putting its efforts and money in other areas such as killing the iphone, being an high speed fiber optic ISP, an energy provider...

Your own mileage may vary.

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