Fresh from a failed courtship with Microsoft, Yahoo on Thursday rushed into Google’s arms in the hope an alliance would improve its sagging fortunes and quell a rebellion by stockholders.
Yahoo and Google announced a deal to put the Internet search king’s expertise to work pumping money from advertising posted next to Yahoo Internet search results.
Google and Yahoo began discussing an alliance in February, shortly after Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said.
“The most entertaining conversations were those that took place in buildings that Yahoo owns in unknown and unfindable locations,” Schmidt said during a conference call with analysts and reporters.
Google cofounder Larry Page and other executives arrived on bicycles for clandestine meetings in covert locations, Schmidt said.
Schmidt said it was during the past few weeks that he and Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang (楊致遠) had “serious conversations” and teams spent sleepless nights pulling together a deal inked on Thursday.
Google cofounder Serge Brin said it was “very exciting” to be working with Yahoo and its founders David Filo and Yang, whose time as Stanford University students overlapped that of Brin and Page.
“We share quite a history and culture,” Brin said. “It was David Filo and Jerry Yang that encouraged us to start a company that, in turn, became Google.”
Brin said a priority was ensuring that Yahoo remains “a strong independent company.”
The alliance focuses on text ads posted alongside Yahoo online search results but has the potential to expand to include display advertising. The deal is limited to Yahoo Web properties in the US and Canada, but Google said there is potential to extend it to other parts of the world.
Yahoo hopes the deal will appease stockholders angry that its board members rejected Microsoft’s bid. Billionaire Carl Icahn has been amassing Yahoo shares in a campaign to overthrow the Yahoo board.
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