Yahoo! + eBay Alliance Confirmed

I was on a plane all day yesterday so I’m a little slow getting to this. Garrett French notified me (via Reuters) that a “multi-year alliance” has been inked:

Under the deal, Yahoo will be the exclusive third-party provider of all graphic ads throughout eBay’s auction site. Yahoo has also chosen EBay’s online payment system PayPal to allow its own customers to pay for Yahoo Web services.

In addition, Yahoo Web search features will be integrated into a co-branded version of the eBay toolbar, and the companies said they would explore developing “click-to-call” ad technologies on their respective Web sites.

“Click-to-call” provides a link inside an advertisement that allows consumers to directly call the advertiser to pursue a transaction.

Under the pact, which gives Yahoo access to eBay’s vast base of online shoppers, the companies will begin to roll out their joint initiatives this year.

At its essence, this is more distribution for Yahoo! graphical ads, more non-Google traffic to eBay auctions and some very modest consumer traffic to Yahoo! search via the eBay toolbar. This is a bit of the old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” However, the two companies are complementary and it should represent an incremental boost in revenues for both companies and should open the door for some interesting opportunities — I’m thinking the acceleration of presence/click to call/PPCall. But we’ll see.

More interesting in a way to speculate about is whether this is a prelude to something bigger down the line. That’s not necessarily implied by this “alliance,” such things happen all the time, but . . .

More later.

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Barry Schwartz has some more detail and links to other coverage. Here’s coverage from Google News. Here’s the WSJ coverage (sub. req’d). Finally, some data/traffic analysis on the potential impact of the deal from Hitwise.


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