April 21, 2015
Yahoo and Microsoft have added an escape clause to their search partnership.
The tech firms last week agreed to extend their search partnership, continuing the 10-year deal signed six years ago, although with some key changes.
One more change was revealed Monday in a filing by Yahoo, which was spotted by the Wall Street Journal.
An amendment to the terms of their search partnership enables either company to call a halt to the deal any time on or after Oct. 1.
It is likely the opt-out clause was Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s idea. Mayer has been critical of the partnership since taking on the CEO’s role back in 2012.
According to the terms of the partnership, which the companies revealed last week, Yahoo will now have increased flexibility to enhance the search experience on any platform because the partnership is non-exclusive for both desktop and mobile.
It is a change Mayer had been pushing for — and one Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella ultimately had to agree to in order to keep the partnership alive. Perhaps the opt-out clause falls into that category as well.
The clause, as the WSJ pointed out, certainly hands Yahoo the ability to better control its Web search future.
In a press release last week, Mayer said she and Nadella had “worked closely together to establish a revised search agreement that allows us to enhance our user experience and innovate more in our search business. This renewed agreement opens up significant opportunities in our partnership that I’m very excited to explore.”
Microsoft and Yahoo signed a 10-year deal in 2009, agreeing Microsoft’s Bing search engine would power searches across both companies’ Web properties.
The deal had been causing friction between the two technology companies for some time.
The terms of the deal allowed Yahoo and Microsoft to re-examine it at its halfway point — which was in February — with 30 days set aside for negotiation. The companies agreed to a new deadline of April 24, which has been met by the new deal.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.