Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

The American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) has written an open letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, urging them to approve the Microsoft-Yahoo! search deal. Announced at the end of July, the deal has Microsoft and Yahoo! partnering up on search in order to create what will become the number 2 search service in the United States. In the letter (PDF), Nancy Hill, President and CEO of the AAAA, wrote: These benefits are too important to wait for. As leading members of the advertising and marketing services industry, we urge the Department of Justice to bring its antitrust review…

Antitrust regulators in Washington have requested more information from Microsoft and Yahoo! regarding their recently announced search deal. Announced in July, the deal would have Bing powering search on Yahoo!’s web properties, including Yahoo!’s main search. In turn, Yahoo! would run advertising, though adCenter would still be used as the paid search platform. Regulators are primarily concerned about two areas: competition and advertising. They’re worried that the deal won’t be good for competition. And they want to see that ad prices won’t be artificially influenced as a result of the deal. Of course, the argument for the deal is that…

Yahoo’s announcement of their acquisition of major Arabic portal Maktoob may be the smartest move the company has made in some time. Maktoob gives them deep penetration in to the Middle Eastern market – a rapidly growing and desired market.

“This acquisition will accelerate Yahoo!’s strategy of expanding in high-growth emerging markets where we believe Yahoo! has unparalleled opportunity to become the destination of choice for consumers,” said Yahoo! chief executive officer Carol Bartz. “Access to information and communications tools can positively impact people’s lives in many ways, and with the acquisition of Maktoob.com and our investment in the region, the Arab world will soon get a Yahoo! experience in Arabic with relevant local language content, programming and services.”

Maktoob reaches 16.5 million unique users in a space where global marketers are looking for more quality access. Yahoo’s purchase of Maktoob makes access to this wanted population easier for marketers looking to push their reach into the Middle East market.

The Yahoo press release noted:

“While Internet usage in the Middle East has grown more than tenfold since 2000, most markets are still in the early stages of adoption. According to the World Bank, there are more than 320 million Arabic speakers worldwide, while less than one per cent of all online content is in Arabic.

With Yahoo! and Maktoob.com’s combined audience and platform, advertisers will have access to the reach and sophisticated targeting capabilities they need to effectively engage with the region’s online consumers. Spending on online advertising is expected to grow by 35 – 40 percent this year in the region, according to Madar Research.:

Maktoob.com was founded in 2000 by Samih Toukan and Hussam Khoury as the world’s first free Arabic/English Web-based email service, and since then has grown to be the leading Arab online community in the region.

“Yahoo is acquiring Maktoob.com for the strong brand and audience it has built over the last nine years and the passionate team they have assembled, which we believe is the strongest in the region,” said Keith Nilsson, senior vice president, Emerging Markets, Yahoo! “We see great growth potential in both audience and advertising in the Arab world and combining with Maktoob.com will allow us to quickly build our presence there with high quality products. This is a big win for publishers, advertisers, and consumers in the region.”

This acquisition is part of Yahoo!’s larger strategy to grow its business throughout the world’s emerging markets by connecting consumers with the content and services that matter most to them in their local language. The company’s Emerging Markets business group, headquartered in Singapore, is responsible for Yahoo!’s fastest growing markets such as South East Asia, India, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Yahoo! has a strong track record of delivering great Internet experiences and helping fuel Internet adoption through partnerships with local developers and content providers.

Yahoo! Shopping has launched a new site featuring deals and online coupons from around the web. It’s called….wait for it….Yahoo! Deals. Find it at http://deals.yahoo.com.

Online couponing has been on the rise for awhile, but the momentum increased when the economy went south. A Yahoo! survey shows that 43% of participants are using coupons more than they did a year ago. It also showed that if online coupons were easier to find, 76% of women would be motivated to use them more.

Even more, 59% reported feeling good when they use coupons. When people feel good about buying your product, that’s a huge association.

Here’s what you can expect to find on Yahoo! Deals:

  • Grocery coupons for all kinds of kitchen staples, provided by Coupons.com
  • Offers for local chain and neighborhood restaurants, retailers and service providers provided by Valpak
  • Exclusive deals from new partners including Visa and Next Jump; Ecobunga! and Greenzer (for eco-friendly products); TechBargains.com and LogicBUY (for computers and electronics); plus coupons and deals on a variety of products from CouponAlbum, CouponMountain, BradsDeals.com and Dealnews
  • Video stories on consumer shopping trends and savings tips provided by Inside Edition
  • The gas finder module that helps users find the cheapest gas by zip code
  • Improved search function to help users quickly find deals from across the site
  • New social features that allow savvy shoppers to share deals with friends via email and popular social networks, and to save deals for later use
  • A new community feature that lets users post or read comments on each deal

“Frugality is the new ‘cool,’” said Greg Hintz, head of Yahoo! Shopping. “We now know that couponing and bargain hunting are losing their stigma and are now a regular habit for many people. Our goal at Yahoo! is to be the center of people’s online lives and we’re making Yahoo! the easiest place for consumers to find and manage the coupons and deals that are relevant to their lives.”

Yahoo! Deals also has a Twitter account set up for easier deal-tracking. Follow @yahoo_deals.