Yahoo, Facebook settle patent spat, forge alliance

Yahoo and Facebook have buried the patents hatchet, and have plans to increase collaboration on ads.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

Yahoo and Facebook have announced a new advertising agreement and the end of their patent disputes.

Yahoo had claimed that Facebook infringed 10 of its patents, hoping to secure some portion of Facebook's revenue. Facebook fired back with a counter-claim, saying that Yahoo was actually infringing on its patents. The two companies had been in negotiations to come to an understanding.

They have now agreed to cross-licence their patent portfolios, and have also decided to work together on advertising, distributing and promoting ads across both Yahoo and Facebook, especially during major events like the Super Bowl. This deal expands on a multi-year agreement for content sharing.

"Combining the premium content and reach of Yahoo as the world's leading digital media company with Facebook provides branded advertisers with unmatched opportunity," Ross Levinsohn, interim CEO of Yahoo, said in a statement.

The patent dispute was started under the reign of former CEO Scott Thompson, who left after only four months in the role. Just prior to his departure, there was a storm of disapproval over the fact that Thompson's curriculum vitae stated that he had a degree that he'd never obtained, but later announcements said that the decision was brought about because he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Yahoo hasn't had much luck with CEOs recently, with Carol Bartz being shown the door in September 2011.

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