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This article was published on November 8, 2011


It’s official: AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo! announce an online ad pact

It’s official: AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo! announce an online ad pact
Courtney Boyd Myers
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Courtney Boyd Myers

Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of audience.io, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups gr Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of audience.io, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups grow internationally. Previously, she was the Features Editor and East Coast Editor of TNW covering New York City startups and digital innovation. She loves magnets + reading on a Kindle. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter @CBM and .

For the past decade, Google has raked in billions of dollars from its search advertising revenues. And in recent years, the search engine behemoth has moved aggressively into display ads to oust Yahoo! as the biggest display ad player in the U.S.

In September, we reported that AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo! were in talks to team up and form an ad pact to take on Google in the online advertising game. Now, it’s official. The three companies today announced their agreement to sell each other’s web inventory via their existing advertising networks.

The ad pact will start at the end of 2011 and will not require exclusivity so each company is free to work with any ad network, even Google. (Although, I imagine it will still require a bit of training to get their internal sales teams to start selling competitors’ inventory.)

By banding together in Musketeer style, they will share ad revenues in hopes of increasing their total earnings, but will still likely be in Google’s shadow. The online advertising world is one of the most competitive landscapes and as companies go head to head in the language of CPM, CPC, DSP and conversion tracking pixels….it’s like the wild west for geeks out there.

Feeling a bit confused? Read: An introduction to Online Advertising, and why you should care.

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