Articles of the Day


Icahn Ends Proxy Fight In Settlement With Yahoo — In a shock move, Yahoo announced a settlement today that puts billionaire investor Carl Icahn on the company’s board, and expands its total number of seats to 11. The two remaining seats will be chosen by the board from a list of nine candidates who were going to run as part of Icahn’s slate. Former AOL Chairman and CEO Jonathan Miller is part of that list, and is widely expected to be named one of the three new board members, along with Icahn. Also, as part of the settlement, Yahoo said eight of its current board members would run for re-election, including CEO Jerry Yang, while one member, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, will not.

MSN Live CashBack Off To Good Start — Microsoft launched Live Search CashBack in June, and after its first full month of operation, comScore shows a 15% gain in search volume for the search giant vs. the previous month. As TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington points out, “this erases the previous month’s losses, bringing Microsoft up to 9.2% overall search share.” Live Search Cashback lets advertisers offer users a direct rebate for purchases made through Microsoft’s search engine. The product shifts the advertising model from cost-per-click to cost-per-action, giving a lot of the revenue earned from advertising back to users. As Arrington says, “Live Search Cashback isn’t designed to grab a ton of market share away from Google and Yahoo, but Microsoft is hopeful that more users will come to them when doing searches around buying goods online.” Those just happen to be the kind of queries that bring in the lion’s share of search dollars. The move is designed to help Microsoft grow its search share against Google, but it doesn’t help the software giant’s bottom line, as most of the money from purchases goes right back to consumers.

Is Twitter On the Cusp Of A Turnaround? — For awhile, there was nothing Twitter could do right. Frequent crashes would prompt a slew of angry bloggers to rant about the service in lengthy posts that criticized the company for being incompetent. But over the last few weeks, the micro-blogging site’s outages have become more rare and the headlines have started to turn positive. Following a recent round of venture funding and an acquisition, Twitter’s turnaround has started to feel real. Even USA Today is noticing. It wrote today: “So many people now use Twitter to update friends that the system often crashes. That could be about to change. Twitter executives are working feverishly to solve the problem through a new inv*stm*nt ($15 million, according to several tech blogs) from Spark Capital and Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos and putting off expansion plans (i.e., making money) until the network issues are resolved.”

NYT Joins LinkedIn For Targeting Ads And Content — NYTimes.com is working with LinkedIn on targeting news stories and ads at their respective readers and members, the two said in a joint announcement. For the past few months, LinkedIn has been forging partnerships designed to expand its offerings beyond just connecting people through their jobs. In March, the company signed a similar deal with BusinessWeek.com that connects the mag site’s news to the jobs and associations of LinkedIn members and their network. This latest partnership involves a similar kind of “recommended reading” feature for the news site’s Business and Tech sections on NYTimes.com. For example, if you work in the media business and you’re on LinkedIn, five related headlines will appear in a new module within Times site’s Business and Tech sections. Users can then push those articles to members of their network through the share tool.

Tacoda Founder Predicts Huge Growth For Behavioral — Behavioral marketing could grow from around $700 million in 2007 to roughly $10 billion in the next five years, according to Dave Morgan, the founder and former CEO of Tacoda, speaking at the OMMA Behavioral conference on Monday. This represents an annualized growth rate of about 85% per year over five years. By comparison, Internet advertising revenue is expected to double in the same time, from $25.5 in 2007 billion to $51.1 billion in 2012, according to a separate forecast from IDC. Morgan’s “blue sky” prediction was significantly higher than figures from research firms like eMarketer, for example, which predicts $4.4 billion in behavioral revenues by 2012.

Facebook Unveils New Ad Placements, New Look — Facebook is giving ads greater prominence through new display units launched as part of the home page and member profile redesign. The site is shifting ad placements from the left side of pages to the right-hand columns. The social network said it will soon start selling the new home page units through its direct sales force. On all other pages, including user profiles, ads have been shifted to the right side from the left side to better fit the new design.

EA Extends Offer For Take-Two (Again) — Meanwhile, this saga continues to drag on: EA says it has extended, yet again, its offer to buy rival gamer Take-Two. The new deadline is August, 18th; the previous offer had expired on Friday. Once again, the company says the move is designed to let the FTC continue with its antitrust review. EA says 11.7 million shares of Take-Two have been tendered, which is up from 6.13 million shares last time.

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