Details Are Scarce in Facebook-Yahoo Deal

     (CN) – Facebook and Yahoo agreed to settle more than a dozen dueling patent claims and launch an advertising alliance in the hopes of providing “unparalleled experiences for consumers and world-class sponsorship opportunities for advertisers.”
     The agreement includes a patent portfolio cross-license and requires the companies to drop competing technology claims that they began filing in March.
     Under previous CEO Scott Thompson, Yahoo alleged that Facebook infringed on 10 patents spanning Internet advertising, privacy controls and social networks. Yahoo later added two additional patents in San Francisco federal court.
     Facebook countersued in April, saying Yahoo had prioritized “litigation over innovation.” The social-networking giant claimed that Yahoo’s home page, content optimization and relevance engine, and photo-sharing service infringed on its patents.
     Temperatures cooled in May, however, after Yahoo replaced Thompson with interim CEO Ross Levinsohn.
     In late June, Yahoo’s attorneys reported that a settlement was imminent. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White gave the company extra time to counter Facebook’s claims and a motion to strike.
     Though the terms of the deal reached on Friday are not public, the companies’ executives have expressed their support in vague public statements.
     “Combining the premium content and reach of Yahoo! as the world’s leading digital media company with Facebook provides branded advertisers with unmatched opportunity,” Levinsohn said.
     Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said: “I’m pleased that we were able to resolve this in a positive manner and look forward to partnering closely with Ross and the leadership at Yahoo!”
     “Yahoo!’s new leaders are driven by a renewed focus on innovation and providing great products to users,” Sandberg said. “Together, we can provide users with engaging social experiences while creating value for marketers.”
     Facebook told Courthouse News that the companies would not share the agreement publicly and declined further comment. Yahoo also declined to comment.
     Their joint statement continues that, “going forward, Yahoo! and Facebook have agreed to work more closely and collaborate together on multiple tent-pole and anchor events annually over the next several years to provide unparalleled experiences for consumers and world-class sponsorship opportunities for advertisers.”

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