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Yahoo enters ad pact with WPP

May 17, 2008|From Bloomberg News

Yahoo Inc., fighting billionaire investor Carl Icahn's bid to take control of its board, said Friday that it agreed to give advertising company WPP Group access to its online advertising auction service to bolster ad sales.

The deal lets agencies of WPP buy display advertising across the Internet, while websites using Yahoo's advertising auction service Right Media get greater access to WPP's clients, the two companies said.

WPP, the world's second-biggest advertising company, will use its online ad agency 24/7 Real Media Inc., which helps place ads on relevant websites, to build a proprietary media trading platform connected to Yahoo's Right Media. London-based WPP's planning and ad-buying GroupM unit will be able to use data about customer behavior gathered through the collaboration.

Icahn named 10 nominees to challenge Yahoo's current board during elections at the Sunnyvale, Calif., company's July 3 annual meeting, saying it shouldn't have rejected Microsoft Corp.'s $47.5-billion acquisition offer. Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang faces mounting pressure to show investors that he made the right decision to rebuff advances from the world's biggest software maker.

"We are committed to providing the technology, insights and media expertise required to deliver the most relevant audience across the Web," Yahoo executive Hilary Schneider said.

Yahoo shares fell 9 cents to $27.66.

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