Last night, executives from AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo! announced a plan to team up and cooperate on ad sales in order to try and maintain some level of competition with Google. The plan involves all three companies selling ad inventory on each others’ sites in hopes of allowing them to collectively regain some of the ad spending that has been going to ad networks.
The three plan to share revenue on the ads and calculate that the profit gained through that approach will be greater than the slim pickings they would get by all individually going to ad networks. While the pact encourages a certain level of cooperation, it’s an open relationship; no pact member is prohibited from breaking down and working with the very ad networks they are teaming up against or even from going to Google itself. The hope is that the mutual benefit of the situation will prevent that kind of behavior organically. We’ll see if it actually works.
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