Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg are discussing a potential partnership, according to a report in The Sunday Telegraph.
The story is based on anonymous sources who seem primarily to be “Yahoo insiders.” It’s vague on the details of the partnership, perhaps because those details are still being worked out, but “board members expect the talks to lead to much more substantial collaboration based around web-based search.”
If the two companies did reach a deal, how significant would it be? The Telegraph argues that this could “reorder the hierarchy of the world’s biggest technology companies,” giving Yahoo a big selling point in its efforts to win over both web searchers and engineers, while also making Facebook more useful for its members.
That might just be wishful thinking on Yahoo’s part — the social network’s partnership with Microsoft doesn’t seem to have provided a significant lift to Bing. On the other hand, this could provide Facebook an opportunity to take a different approach to search integration.
If nothing else, these discussions suggest that the relationship between Facebook and Yahoo have thawed after their patent dispute earlier this year, which was settled in July.
I’ve emailed Facebook and Yahoo for comment and will update if I hear back.
Update 1: A Yahoo spokesperson declined to comment on the report. Meanwhile, AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher writes that her sources “scoffed about such a deal.”
Update 2: And now Facebook is denying that such talks are taking place
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...
Yahoo was founded in 1994 by Stanford Ph.D. students David Filo and Jerry Yang. It has since evolved into a major internet brand with search, content verticals, and other web services. Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo!), incorporated in 1995, is a global Internet brand. To users, the Company provides owned and operated online properties and services (Yahoo! Properties, Offerings, or Owned and Operated sites). Yahoo! also extends its marketing platform and access to Internet users beyond Yahoo! Properties through its distribution network...