Microsoft takes control of Facebook search, expands ad deal

Well it’s not Yahoo, but Microsoft has managed to expand its search business. The software giant will take control of Facebook’s search functionality and expand its existing deal with the social network for search result advertising, according to Reuters.

Details of the deal aren’t entirely known at this point, but Microsoft’s Live Search product will be making its way to Facebook’s website. It’s not clear, for example, if results will simply be internal Facebook pages or will include larger web results as well. Certainly that could be a nice boost for Live Search if users of Facebook decided it was easier to stay within Facebook to do their searching.

This deal follows an investment of $240 million by Microsoft back in October of last year that included an advertising deal as well. That investment gave Microsoft a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook and valued the social network at $15 billion.

Speculation flew that Microsoft would try to expand its deal with Facebook when its attempt to buy Yahoo fell apart. There was even talk of Microsoft gauging the social network’s interest in selling the entire company with part of the $40-$50 billion it had marked for the Yahoo deal.

When the Microsoft deal fell apart, Yahoo ended up signing a search advertising pact with Microsoft’s rival Google. Google also has a search and advertising deal with Facebook’s main rival MySpace.

Live Search will roll out on Facebook this fall.


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