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Yahoo is hoping to tempt more developers to its search products by providing easier access to its Web service APIs along with programmes and tools.

Yahoo wants to create an active online community of coders around its products. The "Yahoo! Search Developer Network" will include mailing lists, discussion groups, application showcases and a weblog. It will allow developers to interact and share information. This, it is hoped, will encourage people to develop applications using Yahoo and Overture APIs.

The search specialist is rebranding subsidiary firm Overture which will now be known as Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions. The company hopes unifying all its brands will help simplify online advertising. Branding will change early next quarter in the US before being rolled out worldwide. Japan and Korea will keep the Overture brand.

But other search players warned that the move underlined how Yahoo! competes with its own customers.

Craig Pisaris-Henderson, chairman and chief executive of rival findwhat.com, said: "By bringing Overture under the Yahoo! brand, Yahoo! is further highlighting the manner in which it directly competes with many of Overture's major distribution partners.

"We believe the move strengthens FindWhat.com's position as the leading global independent player in the performance based marketing space - we do not have a consumer brand that competes with our partners' brands."

Yahoo! is opening a "Advertising Solutions Center" in the US to sell the complete set of products.

Yahoo bought Overture for $1.63bn in July 2003 to bolster its paid-for-search offering.®

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