Viacom enters Web search deal with Yahoo!


NEW YORK -- Viacom and Yahoo! Inc. announced a multiyear partnership Tuesday in which the Web portal will be the exclusive provider of sponsored search and contextual ads for the media conglomerate's Web properties.

For now, the deal covers 33 Viacom sites, including,,, and There is the potential for the agreement to expand to more than 140 other Viacom sites throughout the world.

The ads will be powered by Panama, the project name for Yahoo!'s new search marketing system, launched this year. The ad platform, which ranks ads by quality and not just by the highest bidder, has been called their answer to Google's AdSense.

"Yahoo! has made impressive strides with its new search marketing system," Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman said. "We couldn't be more pleased to have them as a partner, and we look forward to growing our relationship even more over time."

Time Wanrer Inc.'s AOL and Google Inc. entered into a similar deal Monday. The companies said that AOL would launch a paid search service backed by Google technology.

Last month, Viacom sued Google's YouTube for $1 billion for copyright infringement.

"Viacom shares Yahoo!'s commitment to connecting users to the content, products and services for which they are looking while respecting copyrights and other intellectual property rights at the same time," Yahoo! chairman and CEO Terry Semel said. "This marks the beginning of a powerful and engaging partnership between our two companies."