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Groundhog Day: Yahoo! and Microsoft Said to Be Nearing a Search Deal

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Yahoo! and Microsoft are reportedly at it again. According to Kara Swisher's mole at Yahoo!, a team of Microsoft search execs (some of which used to be Purple People) have flown to Sunnyvale (sans Ballmer) to hash out the finer points of technology involved in the deal.

Now, there's all sorts of speculation flying, from how much Microsoft will dish out to Yahoo! to which roles each company will have in the deal. Apparently, Microsoft will take over Yahoo!'s search advertising while Yahoo! will handle display.

For a few months now, Yahoo!'s new CEO Carol Bartz has been touting the strengths of Yahoo! Search is often left out while the focus is on their portals, which rank #1 in several categories.

Somehow, though, it feels like this deal could just end up handing an even bigger search share over to Google. Microsoft hasn't (yet) proven that they should be taking over an even larger competitor in this niche. I want to trust Bartz's judgement on the matter based on what she did for Autodesk, but I kind of wish she powered up some of that fiery tenacity to stay in the search game.

What do you think? Should Yahoo! keep plugging away in search? Let us know in the comments.

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