You Meant "Strengthen Google's Competitive Position," Right?

Published on June 12, 2008
by John Paczkowski

google-evil.jpgGoogle (GOOG) co-founder Larry Page recently discounted the idea that a Google-Yahoo partnership would present any potential antitrust problems. We may soon find out if he’s right.

This afternoon, just a few hours after announcing the not-with-a-bang-but-a-whimper conclusion of its negotiations with Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo (YHOO) said it had inked a non-exclusive search-advertising deal with Google that could, could, be worth about $800 million in annual revenues.

Yahoo explained the deal in another one of its retina-tormenting purple-font press releases entitled “Yahoo to Strengthen Competitive Position in Online Advertising Through Non-Exclusive Agreement With Google.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Yahoo will select the search term queries for which–and the pages on which–Yahoo may offer Google paid search results. Yahoo will define its users’ experience and will determine the number and placement of the results provided by Google and the mix of paid results provided by Panama, Google or other providers. The agreement applies to paid search and content match and does not apply to algorithmic search.”

Yahoo! believes that this agreement will enable the Company to better monetize Yahoo!’s search inventory in the United States and Canada. At current monetization rates, this is an approximately $800 million annual revenue opportunity. In the first 12 months following implementation, Yahoo! expects the agreement to generate an estimated $250 million to $450 million in incremental operating cash flow.”

And what might it generate for Google? The companies are hoping for at least $83 million gross — every 4 months. From Yahoo’s latest SEC filing:

Google may terminate the Services Agreement if, after ten months after the Services are first launched, and each month thereafter, the gross revenues recognized by Google under the Services Agreement are less than $83,333,333 for the four prior calendar months.

Anyway … although the two companies are not required to receive regulatory approval for the deal before moving ahead with it, they’ve helpfully agreed to delay implementation for up to three and a half months while the U.S. Department of Justice reviews the arrangement. “We have been in contact with regulators about this arrangement, and we expect to work closely with them to answer their questions about the transaction,” Google’s Omid Kordestani wrote in a post to the company’s blog. “Ultimately we believe that the efficiencies of this agreement will help preserve competition.”

[Image Credit: AdRants]

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