RealTime IT News

Overture, Wanadoo to Keep Doin' the Do

Overture Services and Wanadoo, Europe's second biggest Internet access provider, are renewing and expanding their paid search agreement.

The renewed, multi-year commitment applies to sites in the United Kingdom served by Wanadoo subsidiary Freeserve, as well as those Wanadoo operates in France, Spain and the Netherlands. Listings for the latter are provided by Overture's Dutch operation.

The two companies have had a strategic distribution partnership since 2002, which has now been expanded to include the Netherlands, the companies said today. Financial terms were not disclosed.

When Yahoo! acquired Overture in late 2003 for $1.6 billion, speculation arose that Overture's bigger partners such as Microsoft's MSN, which competes with Yahoo!, might drop the paid search pioneer's services.

At the time of the deal and since, Overture executives pledged their commitment to building their distribution networks, both in the United States and overseas. The company showed its determination to maintain its international distribution network in September 2003, successfully suingGerman ISP and portal T-Online to reinstate its search listings after T-Online said it would switch to Google because of the deal. T-Online operates Ya in Spain.

Overture also launched in Spain that September, marking the third international market it entered in 2003.

As the Wanadoo deal indicates, Overture has managed to retain most of its network unscathed. Relationships with Lycos Europe and MSN in the United States and UK are continuing. In fact, when Yahoo! announced its earnings last week, the company confirmed it has expanded its relationship with MSN to include all of Europe and Korea.

"Overture continues to pursue a range of initiatives to better and more broadly serve the rapidly growing marketplace," said Nick Hynes, Overture Europe's president and managing director.

"This extension and expansion underscores Overture's strong and growing relationship with the Wanadoo Group," Hynes said.