How Involved Is Yahoo In The Adware Business?

from the beneath-the-surface dept

In the past week, search company Ask Jeeves has received a lot of attention for claims that it's been pushing spyware. The details are a lot less interesting. Ask has a toolbar, and some less-than-scrupulous company was installing that toolbar without really getting permission. Ask should have noticed this earlier, and cut off that affiliate, but overall, it doesn't seem like Ask Jeeves is a real problem here. The story might not be so simple, however, with Yahoo. One of the dirty secrets of the adware business is that it attracts a ton of well known advertisers. That's where so much of the money comes from. In fact, it appears that plenty of those advertising dollars are being funneled through Yahoo's Overture ad service. Following, Eliot Spitzer's decision to sue Intermix, there are rumors that he may be investigating the relationship with Yahoo, noting that 10% of Intermix's revenue appears to come from Yahoo. This is leading Yahoo and some analysts to start punching back by claiming that Yahoo really isn't all that involved with adware companies. This is a really odd defense. Basically, they admit that they are making money from surreptitiously installed programs, but since it's not that significant an amount, it's okay. Still, determining the significance is all relative. $20 million made from software installed without the user's knowledge still seems like $20 million too much.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Kendall, May 5th, 2005 @ 9:38am

    it's more than that...

    Yahoo sells ads to adware distributors (Freeze) which distriuted Claria which serves Overture results which gets uninstalled by Yahoo's own adware (toolbar) with Anti-Spy.

    Yahoo has created their own little ecosystem around "spyware."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    SpyFight, May 5th, 2005 @ 11:57am

    Yahoo and spyware

    I don't know if it amounts to a lot of money for Yahoo, but Claria's 2003 S-1 filing said that about $50 million came from Overture. That had to make some money for Yahoo as well.

    http://www.pcpitstop.com/gator/Yahoo.asp

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    sujit, May 17th, 2005 @ 11:05pm

    Re: it's more than that...

    Yes Yahoo is doing that...
    --------------------------------------------
    Yahoo sells ads to adware distributors (Freeze) which distriuted Claria which serves Overture results which gets uninstalled by Yahoo's own adware (toolbar) with Anti-Spy.
    Yahoo has created their own little ecosystem around "spyware."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    felipe, May 19th, 2005 @ 6:34am

    Ask Jeeves - Spyware

    Mike: can you further discuss Ask Jeeves potential involvement with spyware for a non-Internet expert? thx.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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