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IAC announce they have renewed their sponsored listings agreement with Google in a deal until 31st March 2016. The existing agreement, worth $3.5 billion expires at the end of 2012 and IAC seem to be keen to keep their pact going.
So what does this ‘agreement’ involve? Well simply enough, the deal sees Google provide IAC’s search engines (most notably Ask.com) and other partners with sponsored listings and related services. It is not exactly clear what the deal specifically involves, but in the IAC Press Release they explain the deal is ‘comparable to the previous agreement’.
This means that Google will continue to distribute Adwords ads and other search related services to all IAC sites. Ask.com has struggled to compete with Google in the past and as a result have moved away from core search. As we reported it is believed Ask are weighing up a move for either Bing or Google as a third party to provide their search results. [See: Digg, Ask, Cuil and Blekko: How to Compete in Monopolised Markets]
Considering Ask have previously stated a move away from core search to concentrate on Q&A’s and as a result would be looking for a third party, is this latest news an indicator that the third party is Google?
Well that’s unclear, but we do know that for the time being they are very happy with their current agreement because of the financial and operational implications. Before their deal with Google, Ask’s operating income was $58 million (in 2006), compared to $125 million in 2010.
We will of course be keeping a close eye on this story and keep you updated with any developing news.