The Best of Frenemies

A dozen legendary tech relationships that are...well, complicated.

By  |  Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 4:01 am

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7. Google and Yahoo

frenemies-yahoogoogleFrenemies since: 2000, when Google, which was not yet a goldmine, signed a profitable deal to provide its search engine to Yahoo, at the time was more Web directory than engine.

Acts of friendship: The search deal continued until¬† 2004, when Yahoo ended it to launch its own homegrown engine. And in 2008, Google rode to Yahoo’s rescue in the wake of Microsoft’s hostile takeover attempt by inking a major deal to sell ad space on Yahoo (it later backed out due to antitrust concerns).

Acts of enmity: Even while Google powered Yahoo search, Yahoo’s Overture subsidiary was suing Google for ripping off its ad-serving technology (the companies settled in 2004 in a truce that gave Yahoo an ownership stake in Google). Then there’s the little fact that Google’s massive success has left Yahoo struggling to figure out how to be a strong number two in search.

Current state of the frenemyship: It’s Google’s world–Yahoo just lives in it.

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