Lycos Europe, Overture Expand Deal, Involve Yahoo!

Lycos Europe continued its eclectic approach to paid search Tuesday, renewing its deal with Yahoo!’s Overture Services. This time the search firm’s parent will also participate, collaborating with Lycos Europe on e-commerce and community products.

Although Yahoo! acquired Overture in October, this is the first deal in which the newly-joined companies have gone to the negotiating table in tandem.

The paid search part of the agreement has Lycos Europe continuing to carry Overture’s listings on search results pages across its European network. Lycos Europe and Overture didn’t say much about the Yahoo! portion of the deal, just promising more details of the product collaboration would be released at some point next year.

For Overture, every recent contract renewal has been a victory, as its acquisition by Yahoo! called into question whether it would be viewed as a competitor or partner. In fact, Lycos Europe’s cousin, Lycos, has filed suit against Overture over the acquisition and replaced Overture’s listings for Google’s. Terra Lycos owns Lycos outright but has just a 32 percent investment in Lycos Europe.

“Due to their combined international brand strength, innovation and product portfolios, we believe that Yahoo! and Overture are ideal partners for us,” said Christoph Mohn, CEO of Lycos Europe. “The agreement, particularly in the key strategic area of paid search, is expected to increase Lycos Europe’s paid-service revenues.”

Lycos Europe has taken a very eclectic approach to its paid search partnerships. It will continue to use Overture listings on its search pages through the new deal, the duration of which was described simply as “multiyear”. However, it displays Google’s contextual search listings on the pages of its user-generated site-building site, Tripod. Although Overture supplanted U.K.-based Espotting on the search pages, Lycos Europe continues to display Espotting listings on its network’s directory and channel pages.

“The three products are so different from each other,” explains Kay Oberbeck, spokesperson for Lycos Europe.

Lycos Europe generates around 2.5 billion page views a month, attracting 25 million users, according to the company. Its sites cover Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

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