It’s been increasingly clear that Yahoo isn’t happy in its “Search Alliance” with Microsoft, a deal that is to last a total of ten years (it was announced in ’09) if it plays out.
Last month, Kara Swisher, frequent bearer of juicy Yahoo gossip and memo leakery, reported that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is plotting an exit strategy rom the deal with two internal projects codenamed “Fast Break” and “Curveball”. Now she’s reporting a little bit more:
According to people with more detailed knowledge of the plans, Mayer is trying to consolidate it all internally in a plan that is being called the “three S’s” — Stream, Shopping and Search. But rather than focusing on the Web and keywords, which Yahoo is contractually bound to allow Microsoft to serve under a 10-year search and advertising partnership deal, Mayer is aiming all this toward mobile and contextual search.
Swisher also notes that source told her Mayer “hates” the Microsoft deal and will get out of it the minute she finds a way to “without committing suicide”.
Mayer hasn’t been too shy about her feelings about the deal, though her disdain for it has apparently been toned down in a bit in public settings.
In December, it came out that Yahoo was getting 31% of its revenue from the deal. Last April, Microsoft extended its revenue guarantee to Yahoo, but that’s set to expire in March. It could (and most likely will) be renewed again.
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