Feeds

Yahoo! to! buy! Arab! world's! biggest! online! portal!

Dress you up in my love, Maktoob

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Yahoo! announced today that it plans to buy the biggest online community in the Arab world - Maktoob.com - for an undisclosed sum.

The Dubai-based online portal claims to have 16.5m users throughout the region.

"This acquisition will accelerate Yahoo!'s strategy of expanding in high-growth emerging markets where we believe Yahoo! has unparalleled opportunity to become the destination of choice for consumers," said Yahoo! boss Carol Bartz.

She said the firm’s takeover of Maktoob.com, as well as its other investments in the region, meant that Yahoo! would be delivered to users in the Arab world with “relevant local language content, programming and services”.

Accordingly, Yahoo! was also quick to point out that such an acquisition represented something of a challenge for the company.

“We… recognise the Middle East is deeply complex, a complexity mirrored in the online world, and that it will present certain challenges. As an internet pioneer in the emerging markets, we’ve learned important lessons and we’re committed to responsible global engagement,” said Yahoo in a corporate blog post on its Yodel site.

“This means being sensitive to local laws, customs, and norms while also protecting and promoting the rights of our users. We believe our engagement in the Middle East can be a positive force for people by increasing access to information, supporting a thriving marketplace for the exchange of ideas, and bridging local, regional, and international communities.”

Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo!, which finally signed a search deal with Microsoft last month that brought the company’s long-developed independent search engine to an abrupt standstill, also reckons there’s revenue to chase from advertisers in the region.

The web outfit said it would initially debut Arabic versions of Yahoo! mail, messenger, search and its homepage - which was recently given a Web 2.0 facebooklift. In the future it plans to serve up news, sports and finance in local versions too.

“No other global company has made this kind of investment in local relevance for the Arab world,” it proclaimed.

Maktoob.com’s Arabic/English web-based email service was founded in 2000 by Samih Toukan and Hussam Khoury.

The acquisition is expected to complete in the final quarter of 2009 when Maktoob.com will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo!. Its current general manager Ahmed Nassef will stay on at the firm. He will report to Yahoo!’s emerging markets boss Keith Nilsson.

Yahoo! said that the remaining Maktoob Group companies, which include Souq.com and cashU.com, will be renamed the Jabbar Internet Group and headed up by Toukan. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.