NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Now that Yahoo has decided its way forward in search courtesy of a deal with Microsoft, it can get down to the business of being the globe’s biggest internet portal. Its latest foray: the Arabic-speaking world, with the acquisition of Jordan-based Maktoob. Yahoo bought the Middle East’s leading portal for a reported $75 million.
This is the first major internet acquisition by a U.S. company in the Middle East, and the first acquisition of its type by Yahoo, which tends to build its own properties in new markets or enter them via joint ventures.
With the acquisition of Maktoob, founded in 2000, Yahoo gets 16.5 million unique users and the ability to quickly churn Arabic-language versions of all its products, including Yahoo Messenger and Mail. Yahoo already had 44 million unique users in the Middle East, and though it’s unclear how many are duplicated with Maktoob, the company has an ear for the complexities of the Middle East market, an established brand and a sales force on the ground.
Smart move from yahoo, @google ” why didn’t i think of that ? ”