Yahoo says Microsoft search providing 31 percent of revenues: Report

Might the Microsoft-Yahoo partnership be more lucrative for Yahoo than its executives have been hinting?
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Bloomberg is reporting that a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) request has resulted in Yahoo disclosing on December 9 that 31 percent of its latest quarterly revenues are attributable to the search deal it forged with Microsoft.


As the December 10 Bloomberg report noted, that's substantially more than the 10 percent of sales Yahoo had publicly claimed that it was earning from the Microsoft pact.

A quick refresher: In July 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo signed a 10-year deal following Microsoft's decision against buying Yahoo for $45 billion, as it had hoped back in 2008. The 2009 deal specified that Microsoft would power Yahoo search, and Yahoo become the ad sales force for Microsoft's premium properties.

Over the past year, Yahoo has been seeking a way to get out of the deal, claiming the company hasn't found it financially lucrative. Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer supposedly also has sought Microsoft's pending change in CEO as a possible loophole for getting out of the deal earlier than expected. As SearchEngineLand noted, there is a clause which would allow Yahoo to exit early from the partnership in 2015 if the revenue-per-share threshold vs. the market leader (Google) doesn't pass muster.

Microsoft, unsurprisingly, would like the Yahoo-Microsoft pact to continue on beyond its initial 10-year phase.

I've asked both Microsoft and Yahoo for comment on Bloomberg's report. A Microsoft spokesperson declined. No word back from Yahoo. So far, there's no sign of any new or updated Yahoo filing.

CNET reported recently that Yahoo may be building out some kind of new search/personalization technology, possibly in the hopes of relaunching itself as a search provider independent of Microsoft.

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