Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has told colleagues that she wants to try and find a way out of the deal that her company has with Microsoft Bing. The deal sees Bing power Yahoo’s search results, and was negotiated and agreed upon before Mayer’s installation at the head of the company. She is believed to be troubled by the lack of control that the deal offers, and wants to take the company in a contextual and local search direction that will set them apart and differentiate them from both Bing and Google.
Yahoo was established in 1994, and by the time the Yahoo domain was registered in 1995, the directory had received more than one million hits. Numerous acquisitions followed, and expanded the Yahoo! business to include email, games, and instant messaging services. The acquisition trail has continued since, especially recently under the guidance of former Google executive Marissa Mayer.
In July 2009, Bing and Yahoo announced a deal that meant Bing would power Yahoo! Search. The ten year deal still has at least five years to run, but insiders with what was once the world’s largest search company have said that Marissa Mayer is keen to get out of the deal in any way possible. She wants total control of the Yahoo! Brand and while she sees Yahoo! Search taking a different route to Bing and Google, she requires this control to achieve the desired results.
At the beginning of this month, Mayer announced during a staff meeting that Yahoo! had done a deal with Yelp that would see greater integration of Yelp local search results into Yahoo!’s own results. Bing’s results already includes Yelp data, but the Yahoo! deal would see even more local information and listings provided to users.
Since Mayer took over the helm at Yahoo!, she has initiated an intense acquisition spree, that mirrors the earlier years of the company. In 2013, the company purchased 28 startups, and they have started 2014 in a similar vein, albeit with less volume. In January it was announced that they had purchased Aviate, an app that automatically. Mayer said that it would enable smart home screens and would help drive Yahoo!’s business towards a more mobile experience.