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Microhoo deal has a Google escape clause

Yahoo! clears! emergency! escape! routes!

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It is no secret that Yahoo! and Microsoft's search deal aims to steal market share from Google, but it is still surprising to see Google named in a Yahoo! SEC filing.

The SEC update reveals that Yahoo! can get out of the deal if the average revenue per search in the US falls below a specified percentage of Google's estimated revenue per search. Yahoo! can also terminate the agreement if the two companies' combined market share falls below a certain level.

Yahoo! can also pull the plug if Microsoft attempts to get out of the search business or tries to sell its search business.

The filing also reveals that Microsoft will hire "not less than 400 Yahoo! employees" and that Microsoft must pay for a retention plan for those employees and for 150 Yahoo!ers who will work on transition services related to the deal.

The complete filing is here. ®

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