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Yahoo Buys Whereonearth To Boost Local Search, Compete Against Google

Yahoo has bought the UK location-based Internet services firm Whereonearth, to improve its local search and mobile phone services, and to better compete against Google, according to the Reuters news agency.

Whereonearth's services include a database of geographical locations that covers more than 90 percent of Europe, Asia and the Americas, and allow users to search for local goods and services. The company was named "Innovator of the Year" by the CSSA, an association of U.K. software and IT service companies.

The announcement was made on the Yahoo Search Blog by Bassel Ojjeh, Yahoo Vice President of Strategic Data Solutions, who said that Whereonearth's database and services will be incorporated into Yahoo's "search marketing, search, local/maps, mobile and personals."

Whereonearth is privately held, headquartered in London, has approximately 25 employees, and has had a licensing deal with Yahoo since 2000.