Yahoo Japan is turning to Google to power its paid and organic search engine listings. This comes as something of a surprise as Yahoo has a huge deal in place with Bing that is just getting started, but Yahoo doesn't actually own the majority of Yahoo Japan, so that version of Yahoo gets to do its own thing.
According to Kara Swisher at Boomtown who broke the news, Yahoo only holds a 35% stake in Yahoo Japan, while SoftBankCorp, a Japanese ISP and cell phone provider controls 40%. Yahoo has made the following statement on the matter:
Yahoo! Japan announced that it has chosen to implement Google as its backend algorithmic search engine and paid search infrastructure. Yahoo! Japan made this decision as an independent and separate publicly traded company, in which Yahoo! holds a 35% equity interest. We amended our agreement with Yahoo! Japan as a result of this decision, and we do not anticipate that this amendment will have a material financial impact on our revenues. We will provide support, as required by our agreement, for the search experience Yahoo! Japan has chosen for its business, and we will continue to partner closely with Yahoo! Japan in other areas including mail, messenger, mobile, our content properties and more.
This decision by Yahoo! Japan does not impact the global rollout and implementation of the Yahoo! search alliance with Microsoft, except in the Japanese market. We remain confident in our transition plans for the search alliance, are driving innovation in the user experience around search on the Yahoo! network, and continue to be committed to our alliance with Microsoft.
Last week, Yahoo announced that it has begun testing organic and paid search listings from Microsoft, with up to 25% of its U.S. search traffic seeing Bing and adCenter results.
Yahoo will be integrating Microsoft's mobile organic and paid listings in the U.S. and Canada in the coming months. The company anticipates that U.S. and Canada organic listings in both the desktop and mobile versions of its search will be fully powered by Microsoft as early as August or September.