Microsoft, Yahoo May Extend Partnership Outside The U.S.

    November 5, 2009

Microsoft’s CEO isn’t getting ahead of himself; for the time being, Steve Ballmer’s taking a "first things first" approach.  However, he indicated today that if the proposed U.S.-only Microsoft-Yahoo search partnership goes through, an international agreement may follow.

According to Mayumi Negishi, Ballmer said at a news conference in Tokyo, "It’s possible that we will extend that partnership (with Yahoo) outside the U.S.  We will have to wait and see if we can get approval and consummate that partnership inside the U.S. first."

An international arrangement would make a great deal of sense for Microsoft and Yahoo.  After all, Google’s extremely popular in many places around the world, so any measures the two companies take to fight it in America would be appropriate elsewhere.

Also, even if Microsoft and Yahoo can’t make any inroads on Google’s market share, being more efficient in lots of countries is better than being more efficient in one if they can save money by working together.

So we’ll see what happens in early 2010, assuming Microsoft and Yahoo are able to implement their U.S. deal as planned at that point.  And we’ll try to keep an eye on what the two companies have to say to international regulators in the meantime.

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