Yahoo sought to "pause" search rollout with Microsoft

Reuters

By Alexei Oreskovic and Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Mondayrefused to let Yahoo Inc YHOO.O delay using Microsoft Corp's Bing search capabilities in Taiwan and Hong Kong,affirming an arbitrator's decision in favor of Microsoft.

Yahoo Inc Chief Executive Marissa Mayer sought to slow therollout of its search partnership arguing that Microsoft CEOSteve Ballmer's decision to retire had raised concerns,according to court documents.

But U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson Jr upheld anarbitrator's earlier ruling in favor of Microsoft.

Yahoo and Microsoft began a 10-year search partnership in2010, before Mayer took over as Yahoo's CEO. The two companieshoped their combined efforts could mount a more competitivechallenge to Google Inc, the world's No.1 search engine.

The partnership has not lived up to expectations. Googleremains the dominant search engine, with roughly two thirds ofthe U.S. search market, while Microsoft and Yahoo's combinedshare of the market is essentially unchanged.

Yahoo said it wanted to pause the process until Mayer had achance to discuss the partnership with Ballmer's successor,according to a court filing. Microsoft said in August thatBallmer would retire within 12 months.

Mayer has criticized the partnership in the past. "We needto see monetization working better because we know that it canand we've seen other competitors in the space illustrate howwell it can work," Mayer said at an investor conference inFebruary.

Microsoft and Yahoo were not immediately available forcomment.

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