Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL team up to sell ads

Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL have agreed to pool unsold ad space so that customers can advertise across all three sites.

The move, which gives each company access to the others’ online display inventory, is aimed at fighting off Google’s ad dominance. It covers class 2 ad inventory, which is space not specifically reserved by other advertisers.

The three will integrate one another’s real-time bidding (RTB) technologies by early next year. Initiaslly, they’ll be able to access it via the Microsoft Advertising Exchange and Yahoo’s Right Media Exchange, but AOL may use its own exchange technology solution later on.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Microsoft and AOL and bring to market what we believe will be a more efficient, effective and more effortless way to access true premium inventory and formats,” says Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo executive vice president for the Americas.

“There has a been a significant shift in how inventory is bought and sold, and we’re now 100 percent focused on controlling our own destiny, working directly with marketers and agencies and driving better returns for our advertising partners.”

The move is designed to help bnoost the ad revenues of all three companies, which have been falling in recent years, partly because of strong competition from the likes of Google and Facebook.

“Today’s announcement sets in motion the opportunity for advertisers to achieve scaled solutions across premium publishers,” says Ned Brody, chief revenue officer of AOL.

“This should reduce friction in the marketplace, which will benefit both advertisers and publishers. And this partnership will take our existing partnerships with both Microsoft and Yahoo! to a new level.”