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  • Geebo 10:02 am on July 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , yahoo   

    Yahoo: What could have been 

    Yahoo: What could have been

    Yesterday it was announced that Yahoo has been purchased by communications giant Verizon for $4 billion. While that may seem like a fair price for the aging internet icon, it pales in comparison to what might have been for Yahoo.

    Although hindsight is 20/20 Yahoo has made some financial decisions that even through the looking-glass of history seem questionable. For example, Yahoo had the chance to buy Google twice. In 1998, Google founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin were trying to sell their company, that would later become Google, for $1M. Both AltaVista and Yahoo turned them down. In 2002 Yahoo entered into negotiations to purchase Google but walked away from Google’s asking price of $5B. In 2008, Microsoft sought to purchase Yahoo for upwards of $40B. Once again, Yahoo walked away from the deal. However, the question has to be asked, if Yahoo did purchase Google, what’s to say that they still wouldn’t be a floundering tech company today? Not to mention we’d be without a lot of Google services that many of us rely upon today. If history is any indicator, Yahoo would more than likely find themselves in the same situation they’re currently in.

    The news isn’t all bad for Yahoo though, at least not as far as Verizon sees it. Verizon already owns another massive tech property in AOL. While the AOL brand may not have the same punch it once did it still has such properties under its banner as TechCrunch and the Huffington Post. Business Insider purports that with the addition of Yahoo to its portfolio, Verizon could have a bigger web network than both Google and Facebook. That may not be hyperbole since Yahoo was once the most visited website in the world and still holds a place in the top ten.

  • Geebo 10:06 am on July 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , opera, Qihoo 360, yahoo   

    Times change, even for internet mainstays 

    Times change, even for internet mainstays

    We’re about to tell the story of two internet pioneers and how their fortunes have changed. One you may not have heard of but one you definitely have.

    Our first story is about the formerly Norwegian based web browser known as Opera. You may have never used Opera as a browser but it’s been around since 1995 and has been an innovator in the browser space since then. Think about some of the breakthroughs in browser features over the past decade and a half, chances are that it was a feature on Opera first. Do you remember when tabs on browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer first became a killer feature? Opera did it first among many other innovations such as including an encrypted VPN service built into the browser. While Opera didn’t have the largest market share, it did have one of the most loyal userbases on the internet. Now, more than likely, that userbase will begin to evaporate since the Opera name and browser assets have been bought by a Chinese consortium called Qihoo 360. Opera had a reputation as being one of the more secure web browsers, but now with the browser being owned by a Chinese company one has to wonder how much influence the normally invasive Chinese government will have when it comes to the security aspects of the browser. Former Opera devotees may want to try the Vivaldi browser as it’s been made by former Opera developers.

    Our second story comes from an internet behemoth that most of us would be hard pressed to remember a time without it. Yahoo has been around since 1994 and was Google before Google was. It not only offered one of the internet’s first reliable search engines and free web mail, but also provided news and game portals along with many of its chat services. Yahoo was unrivaled in popularity for many years until an upstart of a company called Google started eating its lunch. Google did a lot of what Yahoo did but much, much better. How many of us couldn’t wait to jump ship to GMail from Yahoo Mail once the GMail invites started going out? Yahoo then started emulating Google by acquiring more properties to add to their portfolio. The names read like a Who’s Who of internet history in Geocities, Delicious, Flickr and Tumblr. By most accounts Yahoo has failed to capitalize on most of those properties, and even shuttered poor Geocities. While Yahoo does have some successful properties, like their sports and finance divisions, the company has been hemorrhaging money for years. Even Yahoo has seen the writing on the wall. What was once the most visited website in the world is now a husk of its former self and is offering itself, either whole or piecemeal to several financial suitors including Verizon, who already owns AOL, and AT&T.

    The moral of this story is, it doesn’t matter how ubiquitous or how enduring an internet property can be, like the empires of yore they can always fall. In a not too distant future we could all be reminiscing about how we all used to be on Facebook before it was replaced by an even better service, or how many people used to use that ‘other’ online classifieds before it collapsed under the weight of its own criminal element.

    As the saying goes, the only thing constant is change, and while it may not happen overnight it will happen. Just ask MySpace.

  • Greg Collier 11:57 am on October 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: robin wauters, rust consulting, techcrunch, yahoo   

    Yahoo! Reaches Settlement In Pay-Per-Click Class Action Lawsuit 

    By Robin Wauters

    mobA class action lawsuit brought in 2006 by several Yahoo! pay-per-click search advertising customers has been settled, one of the parties involved who received an e-mail about the settlement informs us. In the e-mail, administrator Rust Consulting lets the concerned parties (”all persons that purchased, directly or indirectly, Yahoo! pay-per-click advertising in the U.S. marketplace”) know that the court has granted preliminary approval of the Settlement and has provisionally certified the Settlement Class.

    The lawsuit (PDF) alleges that customers contracted for targeted ad placements through two products, “Sponsored Search” and “Content Match” (and predecessor products provided by Overture and GoTo.com) and that Yahoo! breached its contract with its customers by allowing Yahoo! ads to be displayed in spyware, domain name parking sites (bulk registration sites), pop-ups, pop-unders and typosquatting sites. According to the message, which is reproduced on a dedicated website about the case, plaintiffs brought claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, misrepresentation, civil conspiracy, and unfair business practices.

    Interesting tidbits about the lawsuit:

    During the course of the Action, Yahoo! has produced over 1.5 million pages of documents and hundreds of gigabytes of data. Yahoo! employees testified at deposition. The plaintiffs or class representatives did much of the same. Yahoo! has apparently entered into the proposed settlement to avoid further expense, inconvenience and the burden of drawn-out litigation.

    In addition, the Sunnyvale company has agreed to launch a new filtering option for ads, and to make some other modifications to the way it handles disclosures and click fraud investigations:

    Yahoo! has agreed to develop and offer a new ad placement option that will enable Yahoo! Ad customers to control where their Yahoo! Ads appear. The Ad Placement Option will allow Yahoo! Ad customers to specify that their Sponsored Search ads should be displayed only on websites and other Internet properties owned or operated by Yahoo!, and the websites of certain “Premium” distribution partners. According to the docs, Yahoo! has agreed to make best efforts to launch the Ad Placement Option as early as the first quarter of 2010, but in no event later than September 30, 2010. Yahoo! will maintain the Ad Placement Option for at least two years from the date of its launch.

    Yahoo! will post enhanced disclosures on the “Traffic Quality” portion of its website about where Yahoo! Ads may appear on the Internet. These disclosures will provide information about the Ad Placement Option, including a link to a Yahoo! webpage with instructions for using the Ad Placement Option. The company will also modify its click investigation request tool to allow advertisers to ask questions or request investigations regarding certain Yahoo! advertising partners. Yahoo! will also add language to the Traffic Quality section of Yahoo!’s website notifying advertisers that they can request investigations of partners.

    As part of the settlement, Yahoo! has also agreed to pay pay a $20 refund to eligible Class members who are out of business (I’m sure they’ll be relieved). Claims forms must be submitted to the administrator by March 22, 2010.

    One thing is for sure: the lawyers have won this case.

    Yahoo! will pay the costs of notice and claims administration, as well as the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs, and service awards to the Class Representatives. The attorneys’ fees amount up to $4,170,000, plus reimbursement of expenses of approximately $100,000, and for service awards to the three Class Representatives of $10,000 each. I’m convinced the lawyers are yodeling all the way to the bank.

    For your reference: Google settled a similar case back in March 2006 for $90 million.

    You can access the court documents here.

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