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Significantly, Yahoo's U.S. Query Share Stabilizes

Is search a natural monopoly? Maybe not. Silicon Alley Insider points to the latest comScore figures showing that Yahoo's query share in the U.S. market has actually stabilized at around 20.5% over the last nine months. Of course, this is only the U.S. market, and comScore is just one measurement service, but the news is encouraging for Yahoo, nevertheless. SAI's Henry Blodget expressed surprise that stabilization occurred in the 20% range and not 10 or 15.

This certainly doesn't mean that Yahoo is ready to mount a comeback in search. However, if Yahoo were able to claw back search share, it would drastically change the picture for Microsoft, which desperately wants to acquire Yahoo's search business.

As long as Yahoo's search query share remains stable, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz can afford to play wait-and-see, as rushing into a deal only benefits Microsoft. And if query share goes up, the value of Yahoo Search also goes up. Therefore, Blodget says, Yahoo's search trends "merit close observation in the next few months."

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