Platform-A Extended To France — AOL is extending its Platform-A digital ad business to France, following recent launches of the division in the U.K. and Germany. AOL said Platform-A was the leading ad-repping company in France, with an audience of 24 million monthly unique visitors, reaching 8 out of 10 Web users. Platform-A now reaches more than 80 million unique users in Europe, or 76% of the continent’s online audience. AOL’s ad platform will be expanded to other European countries by year’s end, the company said.
Google Pulls Out Of Ad Deal With Yahoo — Google Inc. pulled out of its proposed advertising partnership with Yahoo Inc. under pressure from regulators and clients Wednesday, leaving Yahoo’s future in question as it struggles to maintain its share of the growing market for search advertising on the Internet.
However, by Wednesday afternoon shares of Yahoo had picked up more than 4%, based on hopes that the company might now revive merger talks with erstwhile suitor Microsoft Corp. In a statement on its corporate blog, Google said four months of antitrust review of the Yahoo partnership made clear that regulators and some advertisers “continue to have concerns” about it. “Pressing ahead risked not only a protracted legal battle but also damage to relationships with valued partners,” Google’s chief counsel, David Drummond, said in the statement. “That wouldn’t have been in the long-term interests of Google or our users, so we have decided to end the agreement.” In response, Yahoo said it was disappointed by Google’s move, and maintained that the scuttled partnership would have been constructive for everyone. Yahoo had anticipated seeing hundreds of millions in additional annual revenue as a result of the deal.
Yahoo’s React: Disappointed Google Withdrew, But The Deal Was Only ‘Incremental’ Anyway — Yahoo has come out with its statement about Google’s decision to terminate the search ad pact the pair announced in June. “Yahoo! continues to believe in the benefits of the agreement and is disappointed that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has elected to withdraw from the agreement rather than defend it in court. Google notified Yahoo! of its refusal to move forward with implementation of the agreement following indication from the Department of Justice that it would seek to block it, despite Yahoo!’s proposed revisions to address the DOJ’s concerns.” Though the deal would have enabled Yahoo to speed up investments “in its top business priorities through an infusion of additional operating cash flow,” Yahoo says the benefits would have been merely “incremental” to its product roadmap, which includes crafting more services around search.
Jerry Yang’s Advice To Microsoft—Buy Yahoo — Now that quasi-white knight Google is out of the picture, Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang has some advice for Microsoft: “To this day, I believe the best thing for Microsoft to do is to buy Yahoo.” Yang was the evening headliner for Web 2.0 in San Francisco, interviewed by John Battelle. Earlier, Google made its decision to step away from the search deal used like a wreath of garlic cloves to ward off evil Microsoft, rather than face the DOJ. AP reports that Yang also said there are no talks going on but that he and Yahoo’s board “remain open to everything.” You may recall that Yang and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer still disagree about how their talks fell apart the last time, with Ballmer saying he withdrew at $33 when Yahoo and Yang said they wanted $37 per share. Both numbers seem incredibly remote given today’s close of $13.92.
Echostar-Owned Sling Launching Online Video Portal; Hoping For Multi-Screen Convergence — Sling Media, the place- and time-shifting device company that is now owned by Echostar, is launching something that seems counter-intuitive on the face of it: a free, ad-supported online video portal aggregating video from various professional sources like TV networks, studios and other independents. Sling.com will launch as a video portal on Nov 24. Anyone can use the site—they don’t have to be a Slingbox user/subscriber, though if they do have it, they can plug that into Sling.com site, and watch live TV through their own TV boxes (like they do now through their online accounts, only in this case it is all integrated).
AdECN Invites Networks To Test Exchange — Microsoft’s auction-based ad exchange network AdECN is inviting advertising networks that buy and sell online advertising to test its new Federated System, scheduled for release in 2009. The platform from the Carpinteria, Calif.-based AdECN aims to simplify the process by allowing ad networks to use proprietary technology, such as behavioral and demographic targeting and optimization tools.
MTV Taps Quantcast For Audience Tracking — Web ratings startup Quantcast formally announced Tuesday that MTV Networks has signed on to use the company’s online audience-tracking service. With the move, MTV will now also become part of Quantcast’s Qualified Publisher Progam, giving marketers and media buyers access to audience profiles for the network’s properties including MTV.com, ComedyCentral.com and VH1.com. The program, which lets Web publishers receive traffic and usage reports via tags placed in online content, spans more than 80,000 publishers including NBC Universal, CBS, Hachette-Filipacchi and Fox, and 10 million individual sites.