On February 18 th , 2004 Yahoo! dropped Google-powered search results and returned to using its own technology. Then, when Google introduced GMail, which offered 1GB of storage, Yahoo! increased the storage of both its free and premium subscription e-mail services. Since 2004, competition with the services offered by Google has been fierce and Yahoo! has acquired Flickr, launched its blogging and social networking service Yahoo! 360, and bought online social event calendar Upcoming.org to try to keep the upper hand on its Mountain View-based rival. As Yahoo! says on their website, they are “a leading global Internet communications, commerce and media company that offers a comprehensive branded network of services to more than 345 million individuals each month worldwide.” As of November, 2006 Yahoo! and MySpace have been competing for the honor of top U.S. visited website. Since Yahoo! – like Google and MySpace – earns a profit from advertising revenue, it is imperative that Yahoo!
8 remains atop the list of the most popular websites. In order to stay ahead of the curve, Yahoo! Next, an incubation ground for future Yahoo! technologies, is actively working on new services to add to the company’s Web portal to attract and retain as many Internet users as possible. H ISTORY OF M AJOR T RANSACTIONS Below is a brief history of some of the major transactions Yahoo! has made recently to broaden its range of services 1 . It is important to note that many of these transactions were made in response to a similar move by Google. • GeoCities (May 1999) – Free website hosting service. Now with paid plans that offer additional space, bandwidth, and tools. • Launch Media (June 2001) – An online music service that allows users to create playlists from a vast collection of songs, and can offer recommendations based on past plays. Also provides music videos and other video footage. • HotJobs (January 2002) – Job listings service. Voted best site of its kind in 2002 and 2003 by web users. • Inktomi (December 2002) – Back-end software for internet service providers, specially catered to search engine technology. Inktomi technologies gave HotBot the competitive advantage over AltaVista and structured a framework for media stream for AOL. • Overture (October 2003) – Formerly GoTo.com. The first search engine to incorporate “pay per click” or “sponsored” searches. Became the basis for Yahoo! search-based revenue. The acquisition also included AltaVista and AllTheWeb. • Kelkoo (April 2004) – European price comparison service, comparable to Froogle. Kelkoo has a broader reach across retailers and provides more results than its competitors, plus it allows retailers to bid for high-traffic listings on its site, providing additional revenue. • Musicmatch (September 2004) – Personalized music software and services. Yahoo! already had some music offerings, especially after the acquisition of Launch Media in 2001, but Musicmatch competes more with iTunes and RealNetworks. The service will be integrated with Yahoo! Music Unlimited.
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