Bing Search vs. Yahoo: Making Sense of the Nonsense

This week Yahoo announced that, despite the two companies’ deal in which Bing is set to replace Yahoo’s search, the two companies will continue to compete. Prabhakar Raghavan, a senior vice president of Yahoo, is quoted as saying “We are Yahoo and that will continue….We collaborate on the back-end but we are competitors on the front-end.”

Say what?

The continuation of this nonsense from Yahoo is bound to confuse even many in the industry. Here is what we know as of today:

  • Yahoo and Bing are Still Separate Entities – the planned merger will probably not take place until 2010.
  • Yahoo Search users will Really Use Bing – Even if the “front-end” is branded Yahoo!, users will really be using Bing. Any “competition” that Yahoo may be planning is purely over window dressing.
  • Bing will Power Yahoo Search Marketing – Bing will take over Yahoo’s Search Marketing, replacing it with Microsoft Ad Center, and give Yahoo a cut of the revenue. This is what makes statements of continued competition even more ludicrous.
  • Congress May Need to Approve the Deal – Others in the search landscape may wish to force Congress to review the proposed deal on grounds that it might violate anti-trust regulations.

Those are the basics as of now. Stay tuned.

 

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