Yahoo! ups the stakes in online advertising

Yahoo! is upping the stakes in the online advertising arena by taking its 20 percent stake in Right Media (purchased in October of 2006) to full ownership. The company paid $680 million USD in cash for the remaining 80 percent of Right Media.

"The acquisition of Right Media will further Yahoo!'s goal to create the industry's most open, accessible and vibrant advertising marketplace, which will help democratize the buying and selling of digitally enabled advertising," said Yahoo! chairman and CEO Terry Semel. "This acquisition is an important step in our long-term vision to build the industry's leading advertising and publisher ecosystem. We believe that Yahoo!'s open approach is a clear differentiator from others in the industry and provides significant benefits to advertisers, publishers and Yahoo! itself."

"We share Yahoo!'s vision of a more empowered marketplace, where efficiency, transparency and accountability in online advertising become the norm," said Right Media CEO and founder Michael Walrath. "We are very excited by the prospect of becoming part of Yahoo!, the market leader in display advertising, as it looks to revolutionize the media buying and selling landscape."

Right Media allows advertisers and online publishers to interact in online ad sales in a manner similar to eBay. Participants are able to make direct transactions with one another at fair market value.

Yahoo! is doing its best to keep up with search leader Google. Google has seen its earnings skyrocket on a continual basis while Yahoo! has floundered a bit in the marketplace. Google announced earlier this month that it had agreed to purchase DoubleClick for $3.1 billion USD in cash. Google also recently announced a partnership with EchoStar on TV advertising.

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