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Yahoo! has beamed up British local search developer Whereonearth as the big global web players continue their scramble to get really really local.

If nothing else, the deal means Yahoo! redresses one of its biggest current failings: the lack of a major product line with Earth in the title. Since the launch of Google Earth and MSN Virtual Earth Yahoo had been embarrassingly terra free.

Whereonearth’s technology is already used by Yahoo!, as well as Hutchison 3G, lastminute.com Royal and Sun Alliance and Recruitsoft. The ten year-old London-based company is currently owned by Elderstreet Capital Partners, M J Technologies, and Reuters Venture Capital.

Yahoo! said Whereonearth’s technology would soon find its way into its search marketing, search, local/maps, mobile and personals offerings.

The companies did not discuss how much Yahoo paid. It’s fair to assume the price-tag will barely dent Yahoo’s cash balance, which according to results published yesterday, currently stands at $2bn, up from a comparatively skimpy $650m a year ago.

Revenues for the third quarter ending September 30 were up 47 per cent on the year to $1.3bn. This led to operating income of $270m, up 57 per cent while net income was $254m, virtually unchanged on the previous year.®

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