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News about Yahoo

Started by Thilaga, Feb 20, 2008, 03:42 AM

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Yahoo Communications Chief Departs

Brad Williams, Yahoo Inc.'s head of communications, has left the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move is the latest management shakeup orchestrated by Yahoo's new chief executive Carol Bartz. Mr. Williams, who had been serving as the Sunnyvale, Calif., company's senior communications executive ...


Court reinstates Yahoo lawsuit over fake profiles

LOS ANGELES: A U.S. appeals court on Friday reinstated a breach of contract claim against Yahoo Inc by an Oregon woman who said the company failed to remove nude photos and fake profiles posted by her estranged boyfriend after promising to do so.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that Cynthia Barnes could sue Yahoo for agreeing, then failing to stop the "dangerous, cruel, and highly indecent" use of its site by the ex-boyfriend.

"Contract liability here would come not from Yahoo's publishing conduct, but from Yahoo's manifest intention to be legally obligated to do something, which happens to be removal of material from publication," the opinion said.

The appeals court remanded the case to the district court for further action on the state law claim for breach of contract but did not rule on whether the claim was viable.

The appellate decision also affirmed the lower court's dismissal of a claim for negligent undertaking.
Yahoo said in a statement that it was pleased that part of the dismissal stood, and "evaluating the opinion on the remaining claim and looking forward to swift resolution in the district court."

Barnes' attorney Thomas Rask of Kell, Alterman & Runstein LLP in Portland, Oregon, said his client sued only after repeatedly asking Yahoo to remove the profiles, then relying on a promise by a Yahoo employee that they would be taken down.

"What an (Internet service provider) has to understand is this is not the wild wild West," Rask said. "There has to be some rational logic to it. Don't promise to do something and then not do it."

The ruling could have a "big implications" for Internet companies that enjoy immunity from lawsuits involving user-posted content under the Communications Decency Act (CDA), said attorney Jeff Neuburger, co-chair of the Technology, Media and Communications practice group at Proskauer Rose LLP.

Neuburger, who is not involved in the case, said the opinion would prompt him to counsel media clients with Web operations, including social networking and blogging features, to consider some safeguards.

"There are a number of practical implications that flow from this decision, including educating customer service representatives, modifying terms of use and generally making sure that anything that comes from the publisher of the site cannot be viewed as a promise," Neuberger said.

The Yahoo profiles included nude photos of Barnes and her boyfriend taken without her knowledge, her office phone number, email and address and "open solicitations" for sex, the opinion said.

"Before long, men whom Barnes did not know were peppering her office with emails, phone calls, and personal visits, all in the expectation of sex," the opinion said.

Yahoo did not respond to Barnes' requests to remove the profiles until a TV news crew did a story on her situation and called the company for comment, the ruling said.

An employee then told Barnes she would "personally walk the statements over to the division responsible for stopping unauthorized profiles and they would take care of it" -- a pledge that could be construed as a contract, the opinion said.

The profiles were not removed until more than two months later, after Barnes filed the lawsuit, the opinion said.

Yahoo said it would "hotly contest" Barnes allegations at trial, the opinion said.

The case is Barnes v. Yahoo! Inc, CV-05-00926, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

courtesy : ExpressBuzz.
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Yahoo Eyes Social Networking Acquisitions

Yahoo is looking to buy companies that will allow it to become a bigger player in social networking and revamp its family of products, Chief Technology Officer Ari Balogh said on Wednesday.

Yahoo has had conversations with companies about partnerships and "more interesting" possibilities, said Balogh, who is executive vice president of products at Yahoo. "I can guarantee you there will be some acquisitions, and we will do some stuff in house," said Balogh, speaking by videolink to the Reuters Global Technology Summit in New York. Yahoo will introduce new products this fall that will make its network of websites easier to use and showcase the company's strategy to grow again, he said.

The company is striving to revive its fortunes as sales decline because of the recession and competition from other Internet heavyweights, including Google Inc. In January, Carol Bartz took the reins as Yahoo CEO, succeeding co-founder Jerry Yang.



Yahoo launches social news site, Buzz in India

Internet giant Yahoo on Thursday, May 21 launched social news site, Yahoo Buzz in India.

India is the second country in the world and the first International market after United States to get the product. Yahoo homepage will now feature news articles that readers have voted for. Buzz will effectively accesses the interests of the people and in turn feature the stories that are deemed relevant to the masses by the masses.

"Yahoo! Buzz is a great example of how we can combine popular stories with the wisdom of real people to determine what is most engaging and relevant to our millions of users," Yahoo! India Head of Audience Frazier Miller said in a statement.

The site in India is right now featuring stories from news publishers like NDTV, India Today Group, Times of India, Zee, A2 Media and OneIndia.

OneIndia News


Yahoo's Bartz willing to sell search

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said Wednesday that her company continues to have talks with Microsoft on a search deal and indicated a willingness to sell.

The prerequisites, she said, are the right price, a technology she believes in, and access to the data her company needs.

"There's two parties in all this," she said in a speech at the D: All Things Digital conference here. "The other party has to have boatloads of money and the right technology."

Asked whether Microsoft and Yahoo are actively talking, Bartz said. "Yeah, a little bit."

Microsoft would appear to fit her bill on the money front, and the company plans to debut a new search technology on Thursday. However, a deal does not appear imminent.

She rejected the notion put forth by folks like the Twitter co-founders did on Tuesday by saying they would never sell. "Never is a long time."

Asked whether she would sell the whole company. "They'd have to have big boatloads of money."

She said it's not really about whether a CEO imagines selling. Executives have a responsibility to consider any offer and whether it is in the best interest of shareholders. She wouldn't say whether Yahoo lived up to its duty in evaluating Microsoft's initial offer.

"I don't know what happened last year and, frankly, I don't care," Bartz said.

Earlier in her chat, Bartz talked about the need for improving Yahoo's internal organization. However, Bartz said one thing she doesn't need is a single chief deputy.

"I don't need a No. 2 because I don't want to be removed from the business," she said.

Bartz was asked how long she is going to be at Yahoo. She noted that it's public that she has a four-year contract, but said that's just the popular term for employment deals.

"I'm going to get the job done, so it's going to be at least that long if not longer," she said.

Bartz was also asked about the now-famous "Peanut Butter Manifesto" that suggested the company was spread too thin.

"I do agree with that," she said. "Yahoo might have been a little ADD for a while."

As for Google, Bartz said it is a "fierce" competitor.

"They don't have the positioning we have," she said. "They don't have the brand we have." She noted that the company doesn't match one to one in every area, but said there are still opportunities. "The game for search in mobile is not over."


Yahoo sues NFL players group over fantasy stats

Yahoo has filed a lawsuit against the NFL Players Association, contending that it shouldn't be forced to pay royalties for using players' names, statistics, and photos in its online fantasy football game because the information is publicly available.

The complaint (PDF), which was filed Monday in U.S. District Court for Minnesota, alleges that the players group has threatened to sue the Internet giant if it doesn't pay licensing fees for the information. Yahoo had licensing agreements with the players union for previous football seasons, but the last of those deals expired on March 1, according to the complaint.

Yahoo claims it no longer needs the union's permission to use the players' information, citing an April court decision in a similar case between the players group and CBS Interactive (the parent company of CNET). The court in that case found that CBS Interactive didn't have to pay for use of football players' names or statistics because the information was already in the public domain. The players association is currently appealing that decision.

Major League Baseball lost a similar case in 2007 to CBC Distribution and Marketing--a Missouri company that sells fantasy sports products via the Web, e-mail, regular mail, and phone. MLB's Internet media arm, later joined by the pro-baseball players' union, had claimed that CBC was using baseball players' names and statistics without a license, thereby violating the players' rights to publicity under state intellectual property laws.

CBC won at the district court level and again at the appeals court level, which held that the company's "first amendment rights in offering its fantasy baseball products supersede the players' rights of publicity."

The lawsuit asks the court to declare that Yahoo's fantasy game business does not violate any rights of publicity owned or controlled by the players group, and prevent the players group from interfering with or threatening Yahoo's fantasy game business.

As many as 15 million people participate in fantasy football leagues, generating more than $1 billion a year in revenue, according to court documents filed in that case.

Carl Francis, director of communications for the NFL Players Association, declined to comment on the lawsuit.


Yahoo ends Bartz's first year on up note
Yahoo continued to ease its way back to financial respectability in its fourth quarter, beating estimates from both itself and Wall Street despite a decline in revenue.In a press release Tuesday, Yahoo said it took in $1.73 billion in revenue during its fourth quarter, down 4 percent from the same quarter last year but up 10 percent from the third quarter. That exceeds the high point ($1.7 billion) of the guidance range Yahoo provided after the third quarter, and revenue of $1.26 billion excluding traffic acquisition costs beat analyst estimates of $1.23 billion.
"Things seem to be returning to a more normal state in the online ad business," said CEO Carol Bartz during a conference call to discuss the company's results Tuesday. Although the totals are still off compared to last year, both search and display ad revenue on Yahoo sites increased from the third quarter to the fourth, as Yahoo's clients became more confident about their marketing budgets and more willing to spend on Yahoo's inventory, she said.
Fourth-quarter net income was $153 million despite the drop in revenue, compared to a loss of $303 million a year ago. Last year's net income number, however, was hurt by a one-time write-off of goodwill. Excluding charges, non-GAAP earnings per share actually fell, from 21 cents last year to 15 cents this year, although Wall Street was expecting just 11 cents in earnings per share this time around.
For the full 2009 fiscal year, Yahoo's first under Bartz, the company recorded $6.5 billion in revenue and net income of $598 million. Revenue was down 10 percent compared to 2008, but net income was up 43 percent.
Yahoo attempted to shed both workers and businesses that it didn't like during 2009 in order to save money, but "2010 is not about divestitures for Yahoo," Bartz said. Instead, the company is planning "acquisitions and investments to make Yahoo even stronger," she said, although she cautioned that those acquisitions will be relatively small.
Yahoo said it expects to record between $1.575 billion and $1.675 billion in revenue during its second quarter, with income from operations at $90 million to $110 million. That does not include any effects that will come into play if the Microsoft search deal is finalized, Yahoo said.
The company did not provide an update on when that deal might be finalized during the conference call. Yahoo and Microsoft are talking to the Department of Justice about the potential anticompetitive impact of the deal, which tends to happen when two large players in a three-player market propose a merger.
Bartz likewise dodged a question regarding Yahoo's plans for its business activities in China. The company is an investor in Alibaba, which runs a Chinese-language content site bearing Yahoo's brand in China. Google, of course, recently threatened to pull out of China unless it can offer an uncensored search engine, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week warned U.S. Internet companies that they have a "shared responsibility" to stand up against Internet censorship.
"We have a good relationship with them," Bartz said, even though Alibaba called Yahoo "reckless" for supporting Google's decision to speak out against cyberattacks believed to be the work of the Chinese government. Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang sits on Alibaba's board of directors, she said.
As for other international topics, Bartz announced she's no longer looking for a management hire to head up Yahoo's international efforts, as had been the plan to date. Bartz said she couldn't find a candidate she liked, and so the new plan is to merge the Emerging Markets group into the other three geographical divisions: Asia-Pacific, Americas, and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). The current leaders of those groups will continue on, she said.


Yahoo! logins into black; posts Rs 693 crore profit in Oct-Dec

Internet giant Yahoo! has posted a profit of $153 mn (Rs 693 crore) in the quarter ended December 2009 on the back of improving advertising market.

In the year-ago period, the company had a net loss of USD 303 million, Yahoo! said in a statement.

Yahoo! posted a revenue of USD 1.73 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009, down 4 per cent from a year ago. However, compared to previous quarter, revenues grew by 10 per cent.

The company's revenue from display ads, which are core to its business, jumped 26 per cent over the previous quarter. Online search ads, inched up 4 per cent - the first quarter-on-quarter increase since the third quarter of 2008.

"The fourth quarter marked a strong finish to 2009, which was a transformative year for Yahoo!," the company's chief executive officer Carol Bartz said.

"We beat the high end of our revenue guidance, saw demand for premium display advertising improve significantly, and grew Owned & Operated search advertising revenue sequentially for the first time since the third quarter of 2008."

Yahoo!, which has been facing competition from rival Google Inc. The company has reportedly lost share in the search-engine market after entering into a deal with Microsoft Corp last year, to divest some of its search-engine technology.

source: economic times


Yahoo cuts browser data retention to three months

Earlier this year, industry leader Google halved the amount of time it stores personal data to nine months. Microsoft has said it will cut the time to six months if its rivals did the same.

"Google first went to 18 months and started this competition," said Ari Schwartz, vice president at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a privacy advocacy group.

Yahoo's pledge "is more significant because they are getting rid of some data after 90 days and they actually have an implementation plan to get this done," he added.

The European Union has recommended that companies keep data no more than six months and urged the sector to adopt an industry-wide standard.

"This was our attempt to put a stake in the ground" on the issue, Yahoo vice president of policy and privacy chief Anne Toth said.

Internet search engines get their revenue by matching advertisements to searches, so advertisers can peg their ads to what is on the searcher's mind.


Yahoo will lay off 2,000 of its employees in a bid to save hundreds of millions of dollars.

"Today's actions are an important next step toward a bold, new Yahoo -- smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better equipped to innovate as fast as our customers and our industry require," said Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson in a statement.

"We are intensifying our efforts on our core businesses and redeploying resources to our most urgent priorities," he said.

"As part of that effort, approximately 2,000 people will be notified of job elimination or phased transition," said Yahoo.

Yahoo's layoffs come as a result of its revenue declining due to its competition with Facebook and Google.

source: one india

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