Google-Yahoo Put Partnership On Hold; Talks With DOJ ‘Continuing’ — Yahoo and Google will suspend working together in order to give the Department of Justice more time to determine whether or not their ad search pact runs afoul of anti-trust laws AllThingsD reports, citing sources close to the situation. Yahoo spokesman Adam Grossberg confirmed that report for paidContent, saying, ”The companies have agreed to a brief delay in implementing this agreement to continue our ongoing discussions with the Department of Justice. We have had discussions with regulators and look forward to responding to their questions about this agreement.”
Magazines’ Digital Revenues Offset Last Year’s Print Declines (For Some) — As magazine ad pages continued to slip this year and last, digital’s growth appeared to help offset the print losses at several publishers, particularly Time Inc. and IDG, AdAge reports. The 48 mags that shared information for AdAge’s annual Magazine 300 survey said that revenues from digital ranged from 0.3 percent to 38 percent, with the median figure for digital last year hitting 9.75 percent—about double what magazines reported last year. Counterbalancing print declines: For the most part, tech-focused mags saw the greatest gains from digital. Among the magazines whose digital sides compensated for print declines, IDG’s PC World told AdAge that its digital share gained 38 percent, the highest on the survey and up from 32 percent in 2006. Consumer titles began feeling the benefits from digital as well.
Facebook Co-Founder Moskovitz Leaving To Start New Company — Facebook co-founder and chief engineer Dustin Moskovitz is leaving the social net to found a new company with another departing Facebook engineer, Justin Rosenstein, Valleywag reported and CNET confirmed. Moskovitz served as head engineer for Facebook, having served a more behind-the-scenes role in the recent years. It’s the most recent in a series of exec departures.
Friendster Joins Bebo In Allowing Facebook App Compatibility — Making like Bebo, Friendster has announced it now supports both Facebook’s code and OpenSocial, CNET reports. The move effectively enables Fbook app developers to port their apps to Friendster and to choose between Fbook and Google’s OpenSocial APIs when launching apps on Fbook. Last year, Friendster launched its developer platform with over 180 apps and allowed participating companies and developers to advertise anywhere in the app space and keep all of the revenue. It closed a $20 million round and hired a new CEO, Richard Kimber, in August.
Ask.com Aims For More Relevance, More Engagement With Latest Revamp; More Users Wouldn’t Hurt — A busy 24 hours at IAC (NSDQ: IACI), another update from search engine Ask.com, going live now with its “next generation.” Goals include reducing searches to one click and providing direct answers on the results page in high-volume categories. The changes follow a shift in strategy announced last spring to focus less on the whiz-bang kind of services that might impress “the digerati” and more on practical results.
Ben Wolin, CEO, Waterfront Media: ‘A Two-Horse Race’ — Late last night, Waterfront Media and Revolution Health put the finishing touches on a merger that, when the dust settles, will produce a #2 health network with more than 20 million uniques. While a lot of the focus is on Steve Case’s dramatic switch from building his own massive health network to holding equity in another company, it’s a big leap towards Waterfront CEO Ben Wolin’s goal of building a network that can topple WebMD (NSDQ: WBMD) from its long-held perch at the top of the category. Wolin and I spoke today about the merger that is transforming the company he will continue to lead. Funding: Waterfront raised $20 million in equity inv*stm*nt from current investors but the merger itself was a straight equity play with Revolution becoming a “big” shareholder. Wolin said Waterfront doesn’t assume any debt as part of the deal. He said he doesn’t know where the notion came from that Waterfront was having problems raising money, mentioned here earlier, and that the company had offers of funds from current and would-be investors. The $20 million fifth round —making a total of $57 million raised—adds cash to the balance sheet and provides some flexibility as Waterfront expands. So what is Waterfront worth now? Wolin: “As a private company, that is a hard question to answer.” He says the company was on track as a standalone to make close to $70 million this year and also be profitable. He expects the combined number to be “well north of $100 million” in 2009. More M&A: “We see more. We’re going to build a big company and some of that’s going to happen organically and we’re going to continue to go after very attractive assets.”